The Central Electoral Board (JEC) has reinforced the measures to prevent possible electoral fraud in voting by mail for the general elections on July 23 and in its meeting yesterday agreed that the DNI –or similar document– be required of voters at the time of casting the ballot, and not only when they request it as was done up to now.
Article 72 of the electoral law establishes that the Post Office official in charge of receiving the vote-by-mail application must ask the interested party to show the original ID card and verify that the signature coincides. The option now approved by the JEC to request the documentation also when delivering the vote does not appear in the electoral law. However, it was already put into operation in an exceptional way in the postal voting on May 28 in Melilla due to the scandal of the alleged purchase of thousands of votes in that autonomous city, which is being investigated.
The measure now agreed by the JEC to extend this measure to the 23-J elections, to provide greater legal certainty to the electoral process, was adopted ex officio, without any party requesting it. Instruction 5/2023 details that those interested must present "ID, passport, driver's license, residence card or any other valid document that allows the voter to be identified." It also specifies that if the voter cannot go in person to deliver the vote, another person may do so with an authorization signed by the voter, accompanied by a photocopy of their ID or similar document. The instruction specifies that the voting envelopes that are collected in Post Office mailboxes will not be valid.
Along with this measure, the Electoral Board also assessed in its meeting the extension of the excuses and impediments to be part of a polling station, and agreed to exempt voters who have hired and paid for a trip before May 30, the date on which that the general elections were officially called, and provided that the cancellation entails economic damage or serious disruption.
If these circumstances occur, the corresponding Zone Electoral Board can assess case by case individually and accept it as a valid excuse, "provided that the full integration of the polling stations is ensured and that documentary evidence is provided" of the date of the contract and the damage economic or serious disorder alleged.
The legal excuses to avoid the obligation to be part of a polling station are duly specified in instruction 6/2011 of the JEC, which does not change. However, these are not closed cases, and on this occasion what the Electoral Board has done is incorporate a new pretext, so that, as always, it is the zone boards that make the decision.
The advancement of the general elections to July 23 was announced by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, the day after the May 28 elections, as a consequence of the personal assumption of the defeat suffered by the PSOE. Many Spaniards then wondered what would happen to the trips they had booked for those dates if they had to go to a polling station. They already have the answer.