Yesterday, in the middle of the process towards Catalan independence, I was denied my right to vote in the municipal elections at Cabrera de Mar, in Catalonia. The census for the elections was closed according to them 6 months ago and I registered in the town hall only 4 months ago. Actually, when I went last February to register upon arrival from the Netherlands, they confirmed I would be able to vote presenting my identification. I did at least 3 phone calls to the town-hall in the 3 and 4 previous weeks to elections to confirm that information because I had not received the vote notification over the post, and they told me it was only informative and I had right to vote presenting my identification and registration in the town-hall. Last week, when I was doing something else at the town-hall of Cabrera, I decided to reconfirm the issue and only then they informed me I would not be allowed to vote and it was too late to try to vote over the post. I consulted online the Spanish law for elections and I could check myself that the head of the table was obliged to accept my vote despite I would not appear on the list if I presented the necessary documentation. I asked about that at the town-hall, but they denied it. Before leaving I processed a claim against the misinformation of the town-hall jerks.

At last we got to the election day yesterday 24th may. I went to my correspondent school and table with my family to vote. Since I was not in the lists they told me I should go to the town-hall and there I would be allowed to vote. But when I went they did not let me vote, instead they were waiting for me with a complain form for the census office. I mentioned again that the law would oblige the head of the electoral table to accept my vote with my documentation, and they denied it again. I asked the general secretary of the town-hall would check it personally, but he did not dare to go out of this office saying he was too busy, when it was Sunday and the town-hall was deserted. The woman who attended me did not want to check that information with me either, despite it enabled me to vote.

I went out of the town-hall on a rush back to the voting place, where I also found the major, Mr.Mir. He coerced the head of the electoral table saying if he allowed me to vote all the votes of this table would be refuted, impugned. Somebody reminded the major that the correct procedure in this situation is that the head of the electoral table places that vote separately along with few others in similar circumstances being out of the list, so that the regional electoral board would approve it. But he fearful guy said he would not do anything that would cause him trouble, under the look of the major telling him he should not allow me to vote. I did not decay, though, and I asked the head of the electoral table to check the law if he had doubts. The major then intervened again and confirmed the general secretary would come down from the town-hall to check it personally in the polling place. They took my number but they never called.

5 hours later I went back to the polling place, to ask if they had checked the law and they would register my vote. But the general secretary had not come over in all day and nobody had done anything about it. I called to the town-hall and asked the head of the table to talk to the general secretary using my mobile. But he did not want to talk over the phone. The same woman who attended my claim in the morning talked to him and then she told me: you cannot vote, if you want anything else you can come to the town-hall again. At no moment no member of the electoral table showed any disposition to check the law for me, and they insisted they had no obligation to know that law. The town-hall representatives did not check that law with me despite it mentions in its first section, article 85 that:

1.-The right to vote is accredited in the electoral roll copies officially distributed or for a specific census certification, and in both cases, the voter must show proof of identity with an identity car, driving license or passport where a photo of the person appears, or in the case of foreigners the residence permit.

3.-When at the electoral table, despite showing any of the documents mentioned in section 1, there is doubt due to the complain of an auditor or voter, about the identity proof to vote, having presented all documentation certifying identity and inscription and taking into account the testimony of the present voters, decision should be agreed by the majority of the electoral table members.

All the people representing the town-hall or the members of the electoral table have the obligation, like all citizens of the Spanish state to know the electoral law. In fact, those representatives must learn it in order to implemented it properly. It is mentioned in section 2 article 139 of the mentioned law, that it is a crime to deny a vote or a complain to vote of a person who can show proof of identity and document with registration number to the electoral roll, like it shows the town-hall registration certification signed on 2nd February that I provided. It is also a crime to stop or hinder any complain about voting, coerce members of the electoral table, lie about what is lawful. It is also considered a crime that the members of the electoral table do not notify and give full testimony about any complain encountered the day of elections.

Today I write this article after loosing a battle, because I came back home yesterday with the ballot paper on my hand. After spending almost 6 years abroad, I come back to Catalonia to find my right to vote plundered due to misinformation, bad-management, ignorance, lies and personal interests. I even do not know if I will be able to vote on the plebiscite elections on the 27th September this year. This is no democracy. A basic principle of democracy is that citizens of a region/country/state can choose their representatives exercising the right to vote. However, I realize we live in a pseudo-democracy, since yesterday I was denied my right to vote, something unthinkable in the Europe of the XXI century. I am sad and indignant at the same time. I think of all those who don’t ever go to vote, because they do not care, while I was actively demanding to exercise my right to vote and they did not let me. I want to denounce here today about these facts and ask for your support so that it never happens again, so that the people that yesterday made such mistake against me become aware of how terrible is their wrongdoing by not letting me vote to choose precisely municipal representatives.

Here the link in Spanish to the actual organic law about the electoral regime in the Spanish state.