Polling stations

The Polling Station forms part of the Electoral Administration, together with the Electoral Boards.

It is made up of three persons, a Presiding Officer and two other officers, who are under seventy years of age and able to read and write.

The persons who form part of the stations will be chosen by drawing from among all the persons on the rolls of that station.

The Presiding Officer must have a Baccalaureate degree or secondary vocational certificate or, alternatively, a school leaving certificate or equivalent.

The selection of the members of the polling station is the responsibility of the Town Councils. A draw is held during a plenary session, although the draw may also be performed before the Local Government Assembly in the event that the Plenary of the Town Council has delegated this power to it, provided that it takes place during a public session. The draws will be held between 24 June and 28 June (Instruction 9/2019 JEC)

All the members of the polling station, as well as alternates who are eventually designated as members of the station:

  • Receive an allowance totalling 70 euros.
  • Are entitled to a five-hour reduction in their working day on day that immediately follows.
  • Are included in the Social Security system to cover any contingencies and situations stemming from their participation in the elections.

The positions of Polling Station Presiding Officer and members are binding, as are the positions of the alternates. They cannot be held by anyone who stands as a candidate.

Presiding Officers, members and alternates who fail to perform their duties will be liable to imprisonment for a period ranging from three months to one year or a fine of six to twenty-four months.

Their designation must be notified to the interested parties between 24 June and 1 July (3 days after the drawing of lots). An Instruction Manual for the members of the polling station, supervised by the Central Electoral Board and approved by virtue of an Agreement of the Council of Ministers, will be provided with the notification.

Those designated as Presiding Officers and members of the Polling Station will have a period of seven days to submit a justified and documented cause that prevents them from accepting the post to the Area Electoral Board. The Board will make a decision without the right to any further appeal within five days and, as appropriate, inform the first alternate of the replacement.

Should any of the appointees subsequently be unable to perform their duties, they must inform the Area Electoral Board at least 72 hours before the day of the elections and provide the relevant justifications.

If the impediment occurs after the above deadline, the Board must be informed immediately and, in any event, before the time of the constitution of the polling station. In such cases, the Board will inform the corresponding alternate of the substitution, if there is time to do so, and proceed to appoint another alternate if necessary.

The Presiding Officer, the two officers of each polling station and their alternates will meet at eight o’clock on 23 May at the corresponding polling place.

In the absence of the Presiding Officer, the first alternate act in his/her place. If he/she is also absent, the second alternate will replace him/her, and if he/she is also absent, the first or second officer, in that order, will assume the position of Presiding Officer. The officers who do not attend or have assumed the position of Presiding Officer will be replaced by their alternates.

The Polling Station cannot be constituted without the presence of a Presiding Officer and two members. In the event that this requirement cannot be met, the members of the polling station who are present and any alternates who have attended or, in their absence, the governmental authority will draw up and sign a declaration of the events that have taken place and send it by registered post to the Area Electoral Board, to which they will also communicate these circumstances telegraphically or by phone.

In such case, the Board will be free to appoint the persons who have to constitute the polling station and may even order some of the voters who are present on the premises to serve as officers. In any event, the Board will inform the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the events in order to clarify the potential criminal liability of the members of the polling station or their alternates who do not appear.

If, despite the provisions of the previous paragraph, the polling station cannot be constituted one hour after the legally established time for the start of the voting, the persons indicated in the third paragraph of this article will report this circumstance to the Area Electoral Board, which will call a further vote at the polling station within the following two days. A copy of the call will be immediately posted on the door of the polling place and the Board will proceed ex officio to appoint the people who will form part of the new polling station.