The Minister for Governance and Institutional Relations, Meritxell Borràs, appeared before the Data Broadcasting Center’s pressroom, set up in the Parliament of Catalonia to report on the start of the Election Day. The Minister explained that so far there has been no incident impeding the normal opening of the electoral colleges. At the time of her appearance, at 9.45 am, all 8,181 electoral boards were set up with no notable complication.
In this respect, Minister Borràs noted that the in the Catalan constituency there are 5,836 electoral boards in Barcelona, 823 in Girona, 520 in Lleida and 1,002 in Tarragona. Furthermore, there are a total of 2,697 polling stations set up across Catalonia (1,607 in Barcelona, 399 in Girona, 321 in Lleida and 370 Tarragona).
The Minister also reminded members of the press that out of Catalonia’s legal population (7,518,903 citizens) the electoral roll is 5,510,798 for today’s parliamentary election. Additionally, Borràs noted that this year, a total of 164,247 people will vote for the first time in these elections as they would have reached 18 years of age since the previous ones.
Borràs also noted that the electorate will choose 135 members to represent the Catalan Parliament, distributed in the following way: 85 for Barcelona, 17 for Girona, 15 for Lleida i 18 for Tarragona.
In these elections, 1,281 candidates, of which 679 are men and 602 are women, will run for office, making up a total of 40 candidatures, 9 of which are in Barcelona, 11 in Girona, 10 in Lleida and 10 in Tarragona.
Postal voting and press
In highlighting the high expectations of this year’s elections, the Minster for Governance and Institutional Relations made reference to the 107,421 postal voting applications that have been submitted across the State territory. A sharp rise in comparison to the previous parliamentary elections of 2012, were there were 63,142 applications submitted.
Additional, 21,771 Catalans have been registered on the Electoral Roll of Absent Voters (ERAV) to request the postal vote from abroad.
Regarding voters temporarily abroad (VTA), 1,841 citizens have requested the postal vote.
Furthermore, there has also been a sharp increase in the number of media outlets covering the day’s developments. In this year’s elections over 550 journalists and 128 media outlets from Catalonia, the Spanish state and the rest of the world have been authorized to report on the day’s events from the Data Broadcasting Center. With regards to the international press, 180 foreign correspondents from over 80 media outlets have been accredited.
Over 87,500 individuals mobilized for Election Day
Minster Meritxell Borràs also explained that this year there are 24,543 polling station members and 49,086 substitutes ensuring these elections take place with all its guarantees. In addition, 4,500 people will be working to collect, submit and process the data on Election Day.
With regards to public safety, there are 8,186 Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) working today, of which 4,519 will carry out special tasks directly related to the electoral device.
The electoral device also includes the participation of the local police forces totalling 1,703 members and which includes an additional 143 local guards, who will work in coordination and collaboration with the Mossos d’Esquadra.