Correos General Corporation It was resolved satisfactorily The biggest electoral challenge I faced in the last Democratic phase was due to the unusual calling of 23-J. Of the 2.6 million voters who have requested to vote by mail, more than 93% made it even effective This Thursday, one of the highest percentages recorded for any type of election since 2005.
The company unexpectedly found itself on its agenda the task of organizing a general election in an exceptional situation: a high percentage of the population on vacation, which tripled the number of mail-in voting requests compared to the previous call on May 28. Correos took over three times with a portion of the staff on vacation. In addition, the distribution of electoral documents was complicated because many potential voters located the delivery point at their place of vacation rather than at their usual address.
The company maintains that on May 30 (53 days before the general election on June 23) it began planning the necessary electoral recruitment work, which included hiring thousands of people to enhance the service.
In the middle of the whole process, the People’s Party through its presidential candidate, Alberto Núñez Figo, He raised serious suspicions during the July 12 march in Murcia: “I order the postmen of Spain to work to the fullest, morning, afternoon, and evening, and even if they do not have sufficient reinforcements, to know that they are guarding something sacred to the Spaniards, which is their vote. I order you, who are your chiefs, to distribute all the votes before the deadline is up, so that we Spaniards can vote.
What affects most is what happens closer. In order not to miss anything, subscribe.
The reality of that day belied Feijóo’s insinuation. 19,400 workers had already beefed up the post office staff and there was not a single piece of evidence that staff bosses obstructed or gave orders not to deliver votes by mail.
EL PAÍS PP asked what Feijóo was referring to with his complaint, and the conservative formation referred to statements made by the CCOO unionist, Regino Martín, who was speaking for the union at the post office, to Telemadrid.
Martin declared on July 11: “If there are no postmen to carry the documents and no offices are opened so that the citizen can cast a vote, the Post Office clearly does not take mail-in voting seriously, and we understand that before we suspected it and now we believe it to be true, the chief of the post office does not facilitate voting and the government does not seem to be fond of people who will vote only the 15 (…) only. Under these circumstances, the citizen would be very strict to be able to vote and would not be able to vote. “That’s why Correos lies, and that’s why Correos doesn’t inform the unions. Abstention is encouraged. I said it a month and a half ago on behalf of the majority union and there’s a witch-hunt in the post office not to say it. Correos isn’t excited about people voting.”
The complaint was dismissed
These statements made by the unionist Comisiones Obreras, which ascribe political intent to the government and the post office chief to obstruct voting by mail, became just 24 hours later in a written complaint from the People’s Party to the Central Electoral Council. Citing statements by Regino Martín (CCOO), the complaint stated: “We have become aware of the current discontent among post office unions when they have publicly questioned that many of these voters are ultimately unable to exercise their right to vote effectively.” The PCP denounced that the receipt of ballot papers was taking place “after more than notorious delays, which could harm the outcome of the elections,” and that “strengthening the post office staff (19,000 professionals) did not help expedite the process,” and demanded “as many measures as it deems necessary to ensure the effective exercise of the right to vote for all voters who have requested it, and that the administration” is not infringed by an administration. Below, you can refer to the full text of the complaint.
President of the Electoral Council, Judge Miguel Colmeneroobtained reports from the Electoral Statistics Office and from the Post Office itself and on July 13 dismissed the PP’s claim: “In view of the procedures adopted by the two organizations to facilitate the practice of voting by mail and the problems that adjustment of deadlines established for the application and delivery of voting by mail may cause, no additional measure should be adopted at this time.”
Feijóo then went on to give interviews on radio and television where they asked him if he would contest the 23-J election. The People’s Party candidate answered Es.Radio as follows: “We don’t want to contemplate this scenario because it would be a scenario of enormous political and legal significance. But we have begun to send a message to postmen that because of personal and professional responsibility, if they have to work after hours, no matter if there is no obligation to collect those hours, they must do so… There can be no votes left at the post office, and that cannot happen. I don’t want to think of a situation where there might be people who cannot vote because the ballot did not arrive. Spain cannot Walk this way.” Later, Vox also contributed to the publication vilifying mail-in voting.
CCOO General Secretary Unai Sordo clarified on July 14 that the union did not share Regino Martin’s statements about the government’s alleged political intent to administer voting by mail. “It is a very dangerous message and the delegitimization of the electoral process (…) We are moving away from any theory Conspiracy And trumpeter which defends that you want to condition the result or electoral participation on postal voting”.
Data and results
Final data for the entire processing of 2.6 million mail-in vote applications proves that the most complex process the company has ever gone through under the worst possible conditions worked. Post offices, with few exceptions, operate normally and without large crowds or long waiting times.
The syndicalist who aired the theory that the government was not “affectionate” with citizens’ mail-in voting and that the president of Correos encouraged abstention with his administration, refused in conversation with EL PAÍS to correct his statement after knowing the final outcome of the process.
“It was the colossal union pressure from all the unions, not only from CC OO, of which we are in the majority with 43%, that moved the wheel a little bit, because it came to a complete halt. And secondly, Correos Professionals, which has a huge staff who despite lacking means for about 41 days, started to move the wheel as they always did. We’ve handled 17 elections, in the general elections since 1978, we’ve removed them all though of managers.
“Do you mean that the employees did not obey their superiors to accomplish this task?”
It is not disobedience, but we have a call to public service. We would have struck and raised a hen, and we did not wish to strike against the right of citizens to exercise the vote, nor did we, thinking it an essential constitutional right, and therefore, though no reinforcements, though they were not attended, and though they were not in the way, always cleared our tongues.
Regino Martín refuses to correct his words and only admits that Vigo “was a little unlucky” when he asked the postman to deliver the envelopes to the voters “regardless of their superiors”. The theory of this unionized CC OO is that Correos’ boss only took necessary action as of July 11th, exposing employees to unnecessary burnout. “President Correos has managed this story very badly and got the government into trouble.”
The company replies that it began the process of hiring reinforcements on June 8, 45 days before the polls were due, by turning to Correos job boards, to people with company experience and to the 84,000 applicants to the last job consolidation. Curios adds that since July 3, organizational measures have been taken to facilitate voting by mail by extending working hours and opening offices on public holidays: “Extraordinary distributions of electoral documents were carried out on Saturdays, July 8 and 15, Sunday 16 and Monday 17 (in those towns that had a local holiday) with the participation of 5,700 postal employees and 896 distribution units. On July 11, opening hours were extended in the busiest areas in 275 offices, and from July 13 they were extended All offices closed from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm On July 12, it was announced that 2,075 offices would open nationwide over the weekend of July 15 and 16…”.
Receive our newsletter every afternoon Election newspaperwith analysis by Riccardo de Quirol, deputy director, and Luis Barbero, editor-in-chief of the edition.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits