Keys Against False Voting Lies


Voting invalid has its limits and conditions. There must be an informed and clear act that the electoral list that was deposited inside the envelope in the ballot box has been altered. Because, although it is frequent to vote retouched can be invalidated during the initial count, It is also common for parties to subsequently request an invalidation review on tables where the result is so close that only a few votes, or even a single vote, can decide more or less a seat, due to the complexities of the D’Hondt method. It happened, for example, in the municipality of Corcubión (A Coruña) after the municipal elections of May 28, and a ruling just validated the change in the result by accepting a ballot that was initially considered invalid.

In the 28-M election, 335,989 votes were declared invalid (1.4% of the total), while in the November 2019 general election there were 249,487 invalid ballots (1.02%). Constitutional Court The Central Electoral Council (JEC) They have determined in various resolutions, in the past decade, when the vote is invalid, by applying the “principle of non-amendability of electoral lists” and respecting the will of the voter. For, unless one of the parties so alleges it, the most natural thing is that the only consequence of ballot tampering is the invalidation of one’s electoral opinion. This is exactly what would happen if someone listened to hoaxes circulating on social networks inviting them to insert names, omissions or slogans on ballot papers without warning that this would invalidate them.

Of these jamming campaigns, two of the most widely publicized are those asking for Irene Montero’s name to be included in Sumar’s lists – arguing that her character is justified by this – and the campaign asking that “Pedro Sánchez” be written on PSOE ballots other than those for Madrid, where the socialist leader is at the top of the list. Either way, the hoax authors present it as support for Sumar and PSOE, but the result will be the opposite: these votes will be invalidated. There have also been similar campaigns designed to confuse right-wing voters. For example, a person calling for two cards to be inserted into an envelope indicates that 80% of this “double vote” goes to Vox and 20% to PP. Obviously, this ballot would be invalid.

Elections After the elections, parties made claims to cancel votes that did not suit them or to validate votes that were in favor and were invalidated. This is what just happened in Corcubión (A Coruña) after the municipality passed: The Supreme Court of Justice of Galicia granted the PP a chancellor who had previously taken over by the Autonomous Party of Corcubión, when judges deemed fit for a vote which was initially considered invalid. In this case, the voter surrounded the entire candidate with a circle of blue ink and placed a cross next to the name of the head of the list.

When is voting invalid?

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Invalid voting limits were set in the last reform of the Basic Law of the Universal Electoral System (Loreg), in 2011. Until then, a single word contained in Article 96.2 (“designated”) allowed lists that had a simple touch of the pen indicating the names of the candidates to be nullified.

JEC explained in the 2012 instructions The criterion now applied by the TSJ of Galicia: “a vote cast on a ballot that presents any kind of change that is not accidental, either because the candidate’s name, name, initials, or symbol of the nomination has been torn out, or the order of the nomination has been changed, either because expressions or slogans have been included, on the front or back of the ballot.” In the case of the Senate, the votes which indicated the number of Senators more than those corresponding to the constituency are nullified. Two ballot papers from the same party in the envelope are not considered a reason for nullity; But if they are from different formations, yes.

So, when is polling considered valid? retouched?

The Joint Election Commission makes clear that votes containing “a cross, cross, or cross next to any of the candidates will be deemed valid, to the extent that it is not of sufficient importance or entity to consider that the composition of the ballot has been altered or censure expressed by any of the candidates or the political formation to which they belong, in which cases the will of the voter and the principle of preserving electoral business shall prevail.”

Who decides to invalidate the vote?

The decision during the screening is exclusive to the members of the Registry, according to the Ministry of Interior. but this Despite the documents handed to them on the morning of the vote, They are usually laypeople in electoral legislation. In the case of Corcubión, the vote at the table was declared invalid and this decision was confirmed by the Central Electoral Council, which led to the declaration of the mayor of the local party. However, the High Court of Justice ended up deeming it valid and this caused a change of seat. An invalidation decision can be appealed first to the District Electoral Council, then to the Central Electoral Council, and finally escalate to the courts. Both the members of the Electoral Council and the judges interpret the regulations, and thus differences may arise between them in some cases. Party observers usually record their protest on election night.

What happens with invalid votes?

keep them. This makes it possible to review ballots, as happened in Corcubión, however Also in Martos (Jaén), where the People’s Party contested the declaration of five invalid votes And he only managed to convince the JEC to validate one: an envelope in which, in addition to the ballot paper, was PP propaganda. The opposite case is what happened in 2019, when the TSJ of Galicia ordered a re-election in Electoral Schedule 1.5.U of the municipality of Borrela (Lugo) because six invalid votes for which there was a claim were not preserved. The TSJ of Murcia on July 5 ordered a re-vote on two tables in Ceutí because the 27 invalid votes had not been preserved and had not been sent to the district electoral board. A case ‘could be relevant, in terms of frequent political formation [Vox] He was three votes away from getting a chancellor.” The decision can be appealed to the Constitutional Court.

What is a void vote? Who benefits?

Indeed, there is no point in it, especially in general elections, except to cancel the vote. That is, expressing a complaint against the regime, the parties, or the general situation of the country. It has no significance on the outcome. It may be considered a form of protest, but in practice it only serves to invalidate one’s political opinion expressed at the ballot box.

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