Whenever a draw is held to cover the polling stations for the next elections, two groups of people emerge those who find every possible excuse to get rid of the polling station and those who are willing to be the winners of the draw. There are even people who consider the option of doing it voluntarily. However, the General Electoral Governance (LOREG) is the body responsible for setting the conditions.
The formation of polling stations is the responsibility of the various town halls under the supervision of the electoral boards of each region. Three members of each of them are chosen by lottery from among all the people included in the electoral rolls of each table. The only essential requirements are to be under the age of 70 and know how to read and write.
Oscar Sánchez Muñoz says, “The formation of polling stations by lottery is a tradition that has been present in our electoral system since the beginning of the democratic phase and I think it is something that everyone values positively because it is an example of neutrality.” guarantees.” Professor of Constitutional Law and expert on electoral law and political participation.
Sánchez explains that the main purpose of the draw, which is always held between the 25th and the 29th after the election, is “to guarantee fairness and prevent interested persons from participating.” This is the fundamental reason why alternate candidates for those nominated incidentally should not be allowed to do the job. “We could not control it in any way, it would lend itself to possible fraudulent use,” argues the expert.
“If everyone who attends polling stations was allowed to be a volunteer, we would not have a guarantee that they do not have a special interest in favoring certain candidates on the list,” argued Sánchez. Furthermore, he says that if the Central Election Board allows people to sign up voluntarily “the people who will do it will be those who are closest to the political parties.”
In this way, he explains, “the party that was able to get more people to volunteer at the table would have the greatest potential to be there, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones to use it fraudulently.”
Although in other countries such as Peru or Guatemala, polling stations are staffed by volunteers, in Spain this can never happen according to regulations issued by the Central Electoral Board. “I think it is good that citizens are forced to participate in elections. Although they see it as a burden, it is a minimum commitment that is demanded from society and should not be considered as a punishment. Not to be seen,” Sanchez concluded.