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Questions & answers on the polling points
What are the Polling Points?
The polling point is the place where the vote is made, the voting proceedings and where the counting and preliminary scrutiny is done.
The polling point officers are one presiding officer and two secretaries.
How are the polling point officers appointed?
The appointment of the polling point officers is made by the Government’s electoral administration, under supervision of the Electoral Commission of Catalonia.
The officers of the polling points and their substitutes are assigned in a public draw from all those registered on the electoral roll aged under 70.
How are appointments of the polling point members notified?
Those polling point officers appointed will receive within two days of the appointment. If the notification is received later, the delay will not invalidate the appointment.
Together with the notification, the appointees will receive an instruction manual on their responsibilities edited by the Electoral Commission of Catalonia.
What rights do polling point officers have?
The rights of those persons who are officers of polling points are as follows:
- Paid leave during the voting day, if it is a working day, and five hours’ leave during the working day following the voting day.
Is duty as presiding office or secretary obligatory?
Yes, the exercise of the duty as a polling point officer (presiding or secretary) is obligatory, not voluntary, notwithstanding allegation of justified and documented causes preventing duty.
What term do I have to make allegations excusing duty as a polling point officer? Where should I submit them?
Those of you who have been appointed as polling point officers have a term of three days to submit allegations of justified and documented cause for leave of absence.
What term do the local electoral commissions have to resolve the allegations?
The corresponding local electoral commission must resolve the allegations within two days. The decision of the local electoral commission may not be appealed.
What should I do if I cannot get to the polling station where I am to form part of a polling point on the day of the vote?
- If you find your are unable to appear to carry out your duties once the term to submit allegations has expired, you must communicate this to the corresponding local electoral commission at least 72 hours before polling point is to be constituted, and you will have to submit the appropriate justifications. If you find you are unable to appear for duty after this period, the communication to the Commission must be made immediately and in any case before the constitution of the polling point.
- If the impediment materialises after this term and you cannot appear on the day of the voting at 8 am, the communication to the electoral commission must be made immediately to the local electoral commission, and in any case, before the time of the constitution of the polling point.
If I have to work on the day of the vote, do I have a right to leave if I am a polling point officer?
Yes. Those persons who do not enjoy a weekly day off on the day of the vote and are appointed to be a polling point officer or a party representative, you have the right to enjoy paid leave of one whole working day against the voting day, and a reduction of the first five hours of the working day after the day of the vote, also paid.
These leaves, which are non-recoverable, will be paid to you by your employer once you have justified your duty as a polling point officer or party representative.
Where can I obtain justification that I have been a polling point officer?
Initially you can use a copy of the notification of your appointment as a polling point presiding officer or secretary. You can then request a document of proof of your duty from the Electoral Commission of Catalonia.
What time is the polling point established?
The polling point is established at 8 am on the day of the vote.
The presiding officer, the two secretaries and the respective substitutes of each polling point appear at the corresponding polling station to establish the polling point with the support of representative of the electoral administration.
How is the polling point established on the day of the vote?
Every presiding officer has two substitutes. Both presiding officers and substitutes must appear at the polling station at 7:30 am on the 1st October.
If all the appointed officers appear, the polling points will be established with these officers.
If the presiding officer does not appear, he/she will be substituted in the order as follows:
- by the first substitute,
- if the first substitute is not present, by the second substitute;
- si no hi ha cap suplent, actua com a president/a el primer vocal, i
- if there is no substitute present, the first secretary will act as presiding officer, and
- if the first secretary is not present, by the second secretary,
- If the secretaries have not appeared at the polling stations, or if they have taken position as presiding officers:
- They will be substituted by the respective substitutes
In the case where any of the substitutions above cannot be made, the corresponding local electoral commission will immediately designate the persons to establish the polling points, and may order as many electors present on the premises as may be necessary to do so in the order in which they are ready to vote at that time.
Can a polling point be established without a presiding officer or either secretary?
A polling point cannot be established without the presence of the presiding officer and both secretaries.
If in the case there are not sufficient officers, the corresponding local electoral commission will immediately designate the persons who are to establish the polling point, and may order as many electors present on the premises as may be necessary to do so in the order in which they are ready to vote at that time.
Once the poling point has been established what do the substitutes do?
Once the polling point has been established, the substitutes who have not finally been appointed as officers of the polling point may leave the polling station and will be exempt of any further duties.
What material will be necessary for the vote?
Each polling point must have the following:
- One ballot box duly shut and sealed.
- A sufficient number of envelopes and ballot papers.
Can an officer abandon the polling point temporarily?
Yes, as long as there are at least two officers remaining at the polling point.
What happens if there are only two officers remaining, and one has to leave momentarily?
Voting will have to be interrupted until the absent officer returns.
In the case a polling point is temporarily staffed by a single officer, can the local electoral commission ask any voter who may be present at that moment to make up of the polling point?
Yes. The local electoral commission may order an elector to form part of the polling point.
What happens if I am an officer of a polling point and I arrive late on the day of the vote?
If the certificate of establishment has been signed, you will not be able to take position of your post as officer of the polling point as you will have been substituted.
What happens if I am an officer of a polling point and I fall ill during the day of the vote?
The vote must continue with the remaining officers of the polling point.
Who will substitute me if I am the presiding officer of a polling point and fall ill during the day of the vote?
You will be substituted by the first secretary. If the second secretary does not agree, your casting vote as the presiding officer allows you to take this decision.
Can the result of the vote be invalidated because of the absence of the officers of a polling point?
No. But it does imply an irregularity.
Over the day of voting, can I be arrested during my duty as a polling point officer or representative?
No. You cannot be arrested by any authority, unless involving flagrant crime.
Besides being an officer, can I participate at a polling point in any other way?
As well as the presiding officer and the two secretaries, the formally appointed polling point party representatives and observers may be present upon establishing the polling points and participating in the deliberations.