How does election day work for the people supervising the station?

Meeting at the polling place

At 8 a.m., all members of the station and their stand-ins must be present at the polling place.

The latter are relieved of their duties once the station has been constituted and may leave the polling place if they have not had to replace any members.





What happens if neither the main poll clerks nor the stand-ins show up?

If neither the presiding officer nor their stand-ins are present, the role of presiding officer will be taken by the first or second poll clerk, who will be replaced in their capacity as a member by one of the stand-ins.

If the polling station cannot be constituted before 10 a.m. because it does not have the three people required by law, the situation must be communicated to the district election board

What happens then?

The district election board must call a new ballot within two days. The notice must be posted on the door of the polling place and the election board must appoint new members to the polling station.

The people at the polling station will be able to find help from the Administration representative who will be on the premises early in the morning.

Checking of election materials

The people at the polling station shall check that the following material is available:

Clearly identified ballot boxes. For this purpose, the voting envelope corresponding to the process must be affixed to the front and back of the ballot box. They must be closed and sealed.

In the event of breakage or deterioration of the seal, the presiding officer must secure the seal by any means within their power if unable to obtain another ballot box.

Voting booth. In an intermediate place between the entrance and the table.

Envelopes and ballot papers. There must be a sufficient number for all candidates standing in each election throughout the day.

Electoral roll corresponding to the polling station.

Minutes of constitution, counting and session.

Numbered list of voters. The process or processes in which each person votes must be written down in it.

Voting certificates to be provided to voters upon request.

Copy of the appointments (credentials) of acting polling agents.

Copy of the appointments (credentials) of electors registered on the electoral roll of the polling station who act as polling agents at another polling station.

Set of envelopes and delivery receipts.

If the polling station does not have any of these items, it must immediately inform the district election board so that they can be sent to the polling station.

Checking that the polling place meets the appropriate conditions for holding the ballot

Tables, chairs, appropriate lighting…

Receipt of polling agent credentials

Only a maximum of two polling agents per candidate may act at the table

They will be told that they have been registered by the station.

Their name must be included in the station’s minutes of constitution.

Their appointments will be returned to them.

Drawing up the minutes of constitution of the polling station

It is unique for all elections held.

A copy may be requested by candidate representatives, proxies or polling agents.

Only one copy per candidate should be handed out.

The presiding officer must announce the start of the ballot with the words “voting begins”.

Electors are to approach the polling station one at a time.

Poll clerks and polling agents must certify their identity by means of their national identity card, passport or driving licence. These documents will be accepted even if they are out of date, but they must be originals, not photocopies.

Voters must hand the sealed voting envelope to the presiding officer, who, without concealing it at any time and in full view of the public, must call out the name of the voter and, adding “votes”, must hand the envelope back to the voter, who must place it in the ballot box.

What happens if the elector is not on the electoral roll?

They will be able to vote at the polling station if:

They are polling agents registered to the polling station, provided that they are registered in that constituency.

They submit one of the following documents: Court ruling recognising their right to be registered on the electoral roll of the polling station. Special electoral roll certificate, issued by the provincial delegation of the electoral register office, which enables them to exercise their right to vote at that polling station.

If a person has requested a postal vote, they cannot vote in person at the polling station (a letter “C” will appear next to their name on the electoral roll, or they will appear on a “list of electors at the polling station who have requested a postal vote”)

Entry of the voters on the numbered voters' list, with their names and surnames and in the order in which they cast their vote.

Voting may be interrupted or suspended:

Voting interruption of less than 1 hour:

Voting must be interrupted when the polling station notices a lack of ballot papers for any candidate and is unable to make up for it with ballot papers supplied by the corresponding candidate’s polling agents or proxies.

In this case, the presiding officer of the polling station must communicate this fact via telephone to the district election board, which must immediately supply new ballot papers.

The interruption may not last longer than one hour and the vote must be extended for as long as it has been interrupted.

Voting suspension of more than 1 hour:

Voting may be suspended for an interruption of more than one hour, or for any reason which makes it impossible to hold the ballot.

The presiding officer must get the opinion of all people at the polling station and, if circumstances permit, must consult the district election board, before making the decision to suspend the vote.

Once the decision to suspend the vote has been made, which must be reflected in a reasoned written statement, the presiding officer must order the destruction of all ballot papers deposited so far in the ballot boxes and must immediately send a copy of said written statement to the provincial election board, either in person or by registered mail.

If voting is suspended at a polling station, the district election board must call a new election at that polling station within two days.

The presiding officer must announce in a loud voice that the vote is about to end. They will then insert the postal ballot papers.

The voting of the members of the polling station and the polling agents will then take place.

The numbered list of voters will then be signed by the poll clerks and polling agents.


Once the ballot box has been opened, the presiding officer must take out the envelopes one by one, open them and read the ballot papers aloud.

The presiding officer will show each ballot paper, once it has been read out, to the poll clerks, polling agents and proxies.

The polling station must check that the number of envelopes matches the number of voters recorded on the numbered voters list.

The presiding officer will ask if there are any protests or complaints.

Destruction of ballot papers in the presence of those present, but the following ballot papers must not be destroyed: Those which have been denied validity. Those that have been the subject of a complaint.

The following must be done with the ballots that are not destroyed: They must be signed by members of the station. They must be attached to the minutes of the session (once drawn up, at the end of the ballot). They will be included in the electoral documentation (in envelope no. 1)

Announcement of the results of the vote, including the following information:

Registered voters:

Electoral roll certificates, and court ruling certificates if applicable.

Number of voters.

Number of null votes.

Number of blank votes.

Number of votes obtained by each candidate

Completion of minutes of counting

It must be signed by the presiding officer, the poll clerks and the candidates’ polling agents. The original must be displayed at the entrance of the polling place.

Hand out copies to the following people in the following order:

First of all, to the administration representative.

Then to the candidates’ representatives, polling agents, proxies or candidates who request it.

Only one copy of the minutes must be handed out per candidate.

Minutes of the session

Signing of the minutes by the presiding officer, the poll clerks and the candidates’ polling agents.

Provide copies to the candidates’ representatives, proxies, polling agents and candidates who request them.

Preparation and delivery of electoral documentation

Delivery of the electoral documentation in three envelopes

Envelope 1

Polling station’s minutes of constitution. Minutes of the session. Documents mentioned in the minutes of the session: Numbered list of voters. Null ballots or ballots which have been subject of a complaint. Electoral roll lists used. Electoral roll certificates and/or court rulings provided. Copies of polling agents’ credentials, or the original credentials if copies have not been received. Claims for reimbursement of postal vote expenses, if any.

Envelopes 2 and 3

Copy of the station’s minutes of constitution. Copy of minutes of the session.

Seal the envelopes and sign them. The members of the polling station and the polling agents sign them in such a way that their signatures cross the flaps.

Deliver envelopes 1 and 2 to the court of first instance or justice of the peace. They may be accompanied by one of the poll clerks and any other polling agents who wish to do so.

Security forces will accompany and, if necessary, facilitate their movement.

The judge will sign the corresponding receipt (to be found among the station’s documentation)

Once envelopes 1 and 2 have been handed in, the duties of the station members who have come to the session will come to an end.

Hand in envelope number 3

One of the members must remain on the premises until the delivery is made to the postal services, who will sign the corresponding receipt (which must be included in the station’s documentation).

Once envelope 3 has been delivered, the duties of the station member who has remained on the polling place will come to an end.