Madrid (EFE).- The elections have their liturgy and their rules. To vote in the democracy festival there must be candidates, ballot boxes and ballots, but also a president and two members at each polling station, who are chosen by lottery, as well as two substitutes for each of them.
The electoral law establishes that to be part of a polling station one must know how to read and write and be under 70 years of age. From here on, is there a way not to be at the table? What reasons can be given? Do I have to go if I’m on leave?
How and when can you claim?
Once the appointment has been notified to the president and members of the polling station, they can claim within a period of seven days before the Zone Electoral Board the justified and documented cause that prevents them from accepting the position. The Board will resolve in five days and notify the interested party of its decision.
The Central Electoral Board issued in 2011 an instruction with a list of cases in which the excuse of the designated person would be justified. A list that, however, is open.
Within this list, a distinction can be made between personal, family or professional causes.
In some cases there is no doubt about the cause for not attending, which is justified by itself, so you only have to prove the circumstance.
When the justification of the alleged cause depends on specific circumstances, the Zone Electoral Board is the one that decides after its analysis. That is, it is at your discretion.
Closure, repeaters or embarrassments
The personal causes in which by themselves the removal of a board member is justified range from pregnancy after six months of gestation, to the situation of disability, invalidity or medical leave, passing, for example, hospitalization in prison.
Also having been part of a polling station before at least three times in the last ten years or when there is a restraining order.
Regarding the cases in which it is the Zone Electoral Board that decides after receiving the allegations of the summoned, it includes having an illness or an injury, the anticipation of a surgical intervention or medical test on the day of the vote or in the days before or after, belonging to a religious denomination in which the closure regime collides with participation in the table or the change of habitual residence to another autonomous community.
The chapter on family causes that are justified by themselves, that is, where there is no room for interpretation, includes lactating mothers or the direct care of a family member or a child under eight years of age.
There is another group of family causes that can also be invoked, but in this case it is again the Electoral Board that makes the final decision: family events of special relevance that cannot be postponed -such as a wedding or a funeral-, or being a father or mother of a minor under 14 years of age, when it is proven that the other parent cannot take care of him.
For professional reasons, those who must provide essential services on the day of the vote, such as medical services, firefighters, etc., may excuse their participation in the polling stations.
The directors of the media and the heads of information services who must cover election day can also allege it as an impediment to not being at the table.
And finally, two pieces of information to take into account: the diet for being as president or member of a polling station amounts to 70 euros and the penalty for abandoning it or not going there without justifying it is three months to one year in prison or a fine of six to twenty-four months.