vote abroad

European Parliament calls on Spanish Government to review voting system for residents abroad

November 11, 2016 02:56 PM | ACN

The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament requested the Spanish Government to review the voting system for residents abroad. It considers the current system to imply “difficulties” and believes that it “can be improved”. The vice-president of the committee, the Conservative People’s Party MEP from the Balearic Islands Rosa Estaràs, announced that the complaint of two young Spanish people that had difficulty voting in the general elections of 2011 and in the European elections of 2014 will continue to be investigated, while awaiting explanations from the Spanish Government. In addition, the European Parliament will send a letter to the Spanish Parliament and are confident that the case will be tackled by the Foreign Affairs Committee and the European Commission.

Electronic vote for Catalans abroad to be available next June

July 21, 2016 05:58 PM | ACN

Catalans living abroad will be able to cast their vote by electronic means by next June. The system, pioneer in Spain, will have to be in accordance with the LOREG, the Spanish Organic Law of General Electoral Regime. According to Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, the electronic vote is within Spain’s legality and, therefore, “it will be nonsense” for the Spanish Government to impede its implementation. The initative will help Catalans living abroad “to exercise a fundamental right”. The LOREG and the ‘requested vote’ system, introduced in 2010, dragged out the whole process and meant more agents being involved, which  resulted in lower participation. Indeed, only 14,000 of the 200,000 people registered to vote were able to cast their ballot on the last Catalan Elections.

Government to promote electronic voting from abroad within three months

April 5, 2016 06:25 PM | ACN

The Government has announced that within three months it will promote a new plan of action to implement electronic voting. The plan of action includes tests for the novel system to be carried out before the end of the year, and the Government hopes for it to be implemented by the next Parliamentary elections. Catalan Minister for Public Administration Meritxell Borràs explained that the objective is to avoid a repetition of the “shame”of the elections held on the 27th of September, during which a large number of Catalans residing abroad who were registered to vote did not have their ballots counted, although the documents were mailed on time. While Borràs, noted that she has not yet communicated the decision to promote the electronic voting system with Madrid, she has no doubt that the plan of action will be met with “maximum collaboration”. 

Europe warns Spain of the “shortcomings” in the postal voting system

February 29, 2016 07:20 PM | ACN

The Spanish authorities “should address the shortcomings of the postal voting system”, especially for those living abroad. This is one of the main conclusions of the report written by the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Office for Democratic and International Human Rights (ODIHR), after observing the 20-D Spanish elections. The report also warns of the “political pressures” on Spanish public radio and television, as well as the coverage of the electoral campaign, which was “highly regulated according to some stakeholders” rather than following informative criteria. According to the report, only 8.57% of the 1.8 million Spanish living abroad registered to vote for the last Spanish elections and less than 89,000 could ultimately do so.

Deadline for the vote abroad extended twice for 20-D Spanish Elections

December 16, 2015 12:04 PM | Sara Prim

Spaniards living abroad will have more time to vote in the 20-D Spanish Elections. Spain’s Electoral Roll Office has twice agreed to extend the deadline for the postal vote: first it was extended from the 12th of December to the 16th, and this Wednesday the Spanish bodyhas announced its extension to the 18th. The aim is to improve a system which was described as “an authentic odyssey” by the Catalan Minister for Public Administration Meritxell Borràs when more than 200,000 Catalans whom were registered to vote in the 27-S Catalan elections couldn’t ultimately do so. This decision to facilitate the vote for the 20-D Spanish Elections contrasts with the Spanish body’s failure to do so for those Catalans living abroad who repeatedly requested an extension of the deadline for voting in the 27-S Catalan elections. 

Catalan government denounces the obstacles to the vote abroad before Supreme Court

October 29, 2015 06:47 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

More than 7,000 catalans living abroad couldn’t exercise their democratic right to vote in the past 27-S elections. Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Mertixell Borràs accused Electoral Roll Office of “violating fundamental rights” by denying the government’s petition to extend the postal vote for those Catalans living abroad but contradictorily accepting to do so for soldiers and Catalans living in other parts of Spain.. “We warned that we won’t stand on the side lines and we haven’t” stated Borràs and announced that the Catalan Government presented an appeal to the Supreme Court to “assume responsabilities”. “It is clear that irregularities did happen in the months and weeks before the 27-S” and “someone must be held accountable, whether it is someone in the Postal Service, the Foreign Ministry, or the Electoral Roll office” she stated. “We have to make sure that this won’t happen again and that such an absurd situation won’t  go unpunished”. 

Only 7.5% of Catalans abroad voted in the 27-S elections

September 30, 2015 09:21 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

196,062 Catalans abroad are registered to vote but only 14,781 could effectively do so in the 27-S Catalan elections. Too many agents involved in a complex and long process deprived them of exercising their democratic right. “The Spanish State can’t ignore such a violation of a basic and fundamental right” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, who lamented that nearly “7,000 votes that were sent on time couldn’t reach their destination”. On Wednesday the ballots that did arrive in Catalonia on time showed 63% of Catalans living abroad voted in support of independence. Although cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’) was the most voted, with 7,894 votes, it only maintains its 62 seats in the Catalan Parliament and still requires radical left pro-independence CUP in order to instate Mas as President, which the radical party refuses to do. 


Many Catalans abroad won’t be able to vote

September 25, 2015 06:50 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Only 7% of the 200,000 Catalans living abroad voted in the 2012 Catalan elections and the figure isn’t likely to increase much in the upcoming 27-S elections. Spain’s Electoral Roll Office ignored the Catalan Government’s request to extend the postal vote for those living outside of Catalonia, with the Spanish body only extending it for those who lived in other parts of Spain, not overseas. With just a few days left before Election Day and amidst complaints of ballots arriving too late, confusing processes and the new ‘requested vote’ system seem to have deprived many voters abroad of their right to decide. 

Spain’s Electoral Roll Office won’t extend period to vote from abroad

September 18, 2015 04:30 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Catalan government admitted to being “very surprised” with the Electoral Roll Office’s decision, which it described as “contradictory”. The Spanish body agreed this Thursday to extend the postal vote but only for those who live in Spain, and not for those Catalans who live abroad. The Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, claimed that the Electoral Roll Office is committed to “not facilitating” the vote of those who live abroad. According to the data, more people applied for a postal vote this year than in the last Catalan elections, in 2012. Compared to last time around, 4,000 more Catalans living abroad requested the postal vote on the 16th of September, the day before the deadline. 

The vote abroad: a pending issue for democracy

September 15, 2015 12:14 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Nearly 200,000 Catalans live abroad. The size of this community has grown exponentially in the last 6 years, due to the economic crisis and the lack of job opportunities in Spain and Catalonia, especially for youngsters with advanced degrees. Alongside the economic downturn in the south of Europe, the political debate regarding Catalonia’s fitting into Spain has accelerated and several historic occasions for testing support for independence have taken place within a short period of time, including elections and the 9th of November consultation. However, only 7% of the Catalan community living abroad voted in the last Catalan elections in 2012, which is a very poor figure. With this learning experience behind them, Catalan institutions are spreading the word to let more people know about the electoral law, its deadlines and procedures so that the same thing won’t happen again in the 27th of September’s elections.