Logistics of the referendum (partially) unveiled
5.3 million Catalans are called to vote on Sunday at 2,315 polling stations
Less than 48 hours before the referendum, the Catalan government unveiled part of the logistics for this Sunday. According to its spokesman, 5.3 million citizens are called to vote at 2,315 polling stations throughout the country. More than 6,000 polling places will be available at these 2,315 stations. More than 7,200 people will supervise the election. They are part of the approximately 50,000 people who responded to the call for volunteers made by the Catalan government earlier this month.
People will be able to vote even if polling stations are sealed off, cabinet says
The Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, also made sure that even in the event that the Spanish police prevents some polling stations from opening, people called to vote in those sites will be able to vote. However, he did not disclose whether the vote would take place in the street or at alternative sites. In a press conference with both national and international media outlets, the executive ensured that some people “with credibility” will verify the referendum results. Nevertheless, he did not disclose their names.
The Catalan executive stopped the electoral board from working last week right after the Spanish Constitutional Court threatened each of its members with fines of up to €12,000 per day. Barcelona said that the electoral board was to be replaced by international and academic bodies last week, but no further details were offered at this Friday’s press conference.
The three ministers who spoke today also revealed one of the most well-guarded ‘treasures’ in Catalonia: one of the ballot boxes that will be used on Sunday. There will be more than 6,000 ballot boxes like the one displayed. Their whereabouts is still uncertain. The Spanish police has managed to confiscate ballots, envelopes, posters and paperwork related to the vote in the past few days. But they haven’t yet come across the ballot boxes.
The Catalan government will be solely responsible for the polling stations until Monday morning
The Catalan government also announced on Friday that from now until next Monday at 7am they are solely responsible for the 2,315 polling stations. The education minister sent a notice to all of the schools that will be used as polling stations that she is officially relieving those principals from responsibility of their sites until after the vote is over. The social affairs and health ministers made similar decisions, since some community centers and community health centers will also be used for the vote on Sunday.