Postal voting by persons permanently residing abroad

Spaniards permanently residing abroad and who are included in the Census of Absentee Residents Abroad (CERA), will be able to vote in the elections to the Spanish Parliament on 23 July. The Provincial Delegations of the Electoral Register Office will send the following documentation ex officio to the address of registration of each person of Spanish nationality registered in the electoral roll of resident-absent voters living abroad:

  • Voting envelopes
  • Two identical certificates of registration in the electoral roll of absent voters living abroad.
  • Envelope addressed to the Provincial Election Board.
  • Envelope addressed to the Consulate or Embassy.
  • An information sheet on how to exercise the right to vote and the address of the official website where the candidacies will be displayed and where downloadable sets of ballot papers will be available.
  • The list of centres authorised to deposit votes in ballot boxes within their consular demarcation.
  • Form for the reimbursement of the vote postage costs.

In order to guarantee the secrecy of the vote, only the complete set of ballot papers can be electronically downloaded.

The documentation must be sent by the OCE by registered post between 17 and 23 June, although the time it takes for the documents to arrive at the address abroad must be taken into account.

The OCE will also send the official ballot papers to the addresses where each absentee voters are registered between 28 June and no later than 2 July in the provinces where the announcements of candidatures have not been contested, and no later than 8 July in the other cases.

The downloadable ballots will be available after the appeals against the proclamation of candidatures have been resolved and no later than 2 July.

The consular offices will guarantee the availability of the official ballot papers at the polling stations, as well as the envelopes and the computer equipment required to download the rest of the documentation required to vote during the days set aside for voting in person.

How to prepare the vote

You will need to select your voting option (or do not include a ballot paper if you wish to abstain):

  • For the election of Parliamentary Deputies, the ballot paper corresponding to the chosen candidature is placed inside the white voting envelope (do not insert any ballot paper if you wish to abstain)
  • For the election of Senators, mark the candidate(s) of your choice according to the instructions on the ballot paper. Then place this ballot paper in the brown voting envelope (or no ballot paper at all if you wish to abstain).

The following will then be placed in the envelope addressed to the Provincial Electoral Board:

  • The voting envelope with the ballot papers.
  • One of the electoral roll registration certificates. (in the case of a postal vote, the signature and number of the voter’s passport or ID card must appear on the back of the certificate).
  • Photocopy of passport or identity card issued by the Spanish authorities or certificate of nationality or registration in the Consular Register issued by the Spanish consulate in the country of residence.

How to vote:

  • Personally place your vote in the ballot boxes provided for this purpose at your Embassy or Consulate or at the centres set up for this purpose.

    You will be able to do so between 15 and 20 July(both inclusive).

    You must hand the second census registration certificate to the consular official after proving your identity and deposit the envelope addressed to the Provincial Electoral Board, once the consular official has signed the back of said envelope and affixed the seal of the Consular Office on it, indicating the date it was cast.

  • Send it by registered post.

    You will be able to do so until 18 July

    In this case, the following must be enclosed in the envelope addressed to the Consulate or Embassy:

  • An envelope addressed to the Provincial Electoral Board with the following contents:

    The voting envelope with the ballot papers

    The census registration certificate, the reverse side of which will bear the voter’s signature and passport or identity card number

    Photocopy of passport or identity card issued by the Spanish authorities or certificate of nationality or registration in the Consular Register issued by the Spanish consulate in the country of residence

  • The other census registration certificate.

  • If desired, the completed form for the return of postage costs in countries where no post office box has been opened.

In order for these votes to be valid, the envelope addressed to the corresponding Electoral Board must clearly bear the stamp of the Consular Post or Consular Section of the corresponding Diplomatic Mission that unequivocally certifies that the deadlines have been met.

Once the deadline for placing the votes in the ballot box has expired, all votes (received by post or placed in the ballot box) must be sent to the Office set up for this purpose at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, which will send them urgently to the Electoral Boards responsible for the counting thereof.

More information at the Embassy or Consulate and on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(A new window will open), European Union and Cooperation and the INE website(A new window will open)

Spanish voters residing abroad (CERA) who are temporarily in Spain

If any CERA voters are temporarily in Spain during the call for an electoral process, they may apply (just like residents in national territory) to vote by post from the date of the announcement of the elections until 13 July, without the above entailing their removal from the CERA.

To do so, they must fill in the application form (available here or at any Postal Service office), expressly indicating their registration on the electoral roll of Spaniards residing abroad and send it to the corresponding Provincial Delegation of the Electoral Census Office. They should indicate an address in Spain where they wish to receive the documentation.

If the documents have already been sent to the registration address abroad, a registration certificate marked “DUPLICATE"will be sent.

Once the electoral documentation has been received at the address in Spain indicated on the application form, the voter shall send the vote to the Provincial Electoral Board by registered mail no later than 19 July.

These voters may not vote in person at the polling station.