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Polling station committees

The polling station committee is the body where voters cast their ballots. The committee monitors the voting process and carries out the provisional count. 

A polling station committee consists of a chair and two other members.

The committees are selected by local councils under the supervision of the area electoral commissions. 

The members of the polling station committees and their alternates are selected by a public draw among all the people included in the list of voters of the relevant committee who can read and write and are over 18 and under 70. 

This public draw will be held between 29 August and 2 September.

People chosen as members of the committee are notified between 29 August and 5 September. Notification may be given after this period and this will not be grounds for invalidating the appointment. 

Together with the notification the people appointed receive a handbook.

More information:

People who are members of the polling station committees are entitled to: 

  • Receive a per diem.
  • Paid leave on the day of the election if it is a working day and a reduction of 5 hours in their working hours on the day after the election.
  • Protection by the Social Security system against accident and illness and situations that may arise from their involvement in the election.  

Yes. Refusal to take up the post is considered an electoral offence and can be punished by law by imprisonment for three months to one year or a fine per day of six to twenty-four months.

The legal grounds for not accepting the post of chairman or other member of a polling station committee (regular or alternate) are as follows: 

  • Being a candidate in the election. 

In addition, people appointed to the committee can claim other grounds with supporting documents which the commission will assess before ruling on the claim within five days. 

More information: 

  • Instruction 6/2011, of 28 April, of the Central Electoral Commission, interpreting Section 27.3 of the Election Procedure Act on impediments and justified grounds for the posts of chair and member of polling station committees (OSJ no. 103, of 30 April).

People who have been appointed members of a polling station committee have a period of seven days from notification of the appointment to file an appeal before the area electoral commission for the municipality in which they live. 

Grounds which prevent you from being a member of the committee must be supported by documents. 

More information: 

The area electoral commissions have to rule on appeals within five days (in the period between 29 August and 17 September) and notify the person concerned.                                               

There are two possibilities for claims for exemption: 

  • The grounds cited are rejected; the area electoral commission will notify the member of the committee of their final appointment. 
  • The grounds cited are accepted; the person will be excused from the post and will be notified, and another committee member will be appointed who will also be notified. 

No appeals can be filed against the decision of the area electoral commissions.

  • If you cannot take up your post once the deadline for claiming exemption has passed, you must report this impossibility to the area electoral commission at least 72 hours before the day of the election and provide any necessary supporting documents. If the impediment occurs after this period, notice to the commission must be given immediately and under all circumstances before the committee is constituted. 
  • If you cannot go to the polling station at 8 am on the day of the election on justifiable grounds, you must advise the relevant area electoral commission as soon as possible. 

If you have no justified grounds, failure to go to the polling station is punishable by law by imprisonment of three months to one year or a fine per day of six to twenty-four months.

Yes. People who do not have a day off on the day of the election and prove that they are members of polling station committees or observers have the right to paid leave corresponding to a full working day on this day and a reduction by five hours of the following working day which will also be paid. 

You will be paid for this leave, for which you do not have to make up time, by the company once it has been demonstrated that you have been a committee member or observer. 

The polling station committee is constituted at 8 am on the day of the election. 

The chair, the other two members and the alternates meet at the polling station for their committee to set up the polling station committee.

Each regular member has two alternates. Both regular members and alternates have to go to the polling station at 8 am on 27 September. 

If all the regular members turn up, the committees are constituted with the regular members. 

If a regular member is missing, the first alternate will take their place, and if they are missing too, the second alternate will take their place.

In the case of the committee chair, if the person appointed as the regular chair does not turn up and none of their alternates are present either, the first regular member will be the chair or the second regular member if the first has not turned up either. 

A polling station committee cannot be constituted without its chair and other two members. 

If the committee cannot be constituted the members of the committee present, the alternates who have turned up or, if there are no members of the committee, the government authority will issue and sign a statement of the events and send it by registered post to the area commission which they will also advise by telegram or telephone. 

In this case the commission will freely appoint the people who are to constitute the polling station committee and may even order some of the voters present in the polling station to become members of it.

If the committee cannot be constituted by 10 am, the members present, the alternates who have turned up or the government authority have to report it to the relevant area electoral commission, which will call the committee for a new vote which must take place within the following two days.

Once the committee has been constituted, the alternates who have not in the end been appointed as members of the polling station committee may leave the polling station and are relieved of their duties.

Each polling station committee must have at least the following: 

  • A duly closed and sealed ballot box.
  • A booth in the same room where the voting takes place.
  • A sufficient number of envelopes and ballot papers for all the lists standing in the elections.

If any of the supplies and materials required for voting are missing at the time specified for constituting the committee, the chair has to inform the area electoral commission (JEZ) by phone immediately, which will provide them.

Yes, as long as there are at least two other members of the committee left.

Voting is interrupted until the absent member returns. Moreover, in this case the area electoral commission will take the necessary measures for the proper conduct of the voting process.

If the committee has been constituted, you cannot take up your seat as a member because you will have been replaced by an alternate.

You will be replaced by the first member. If the second member does not agree, your casting vote as chair of the committee will enable you to take this decision.

In addition to the chair and the two members, the committee can be attended by the observers who can also take part in its discussions.