During Tuesday’s weekly informational press conference held at the Palau de la Generalitat, the Minister of Governance, Public Administration and Housing, Meritxell Borràs, announced the Government’s plan to implement electronic voting for Catalans living abroad. The aim is to integrate ‘e-voting’ in the next Parliamentary elections and avoid any possible interference by the Spanish state in the election process. In this regard, Borràs expressed her “frustration and powerlessness” with the problems encountered last September when only 14,000 of the 200,000 registered voters were able to cast their ballot after Spain’s Electoral Office ignored several requests to extend the postal vote deadline for Catalans living outside of the State, but extending it various times for military personnel and voters living in other parts of Spain.
“Today”, announced the Minister, “we are starting to build the foundation so that [e-voting in Catalonia] can become a reality”. “Our goal is that in the coming elections to the Parliament of Catalonia residents abroad will be able to vote with the new system”, she added.
The Minister affirmed that electronic voting in Catalonia could be promoted within the current legal framework through a decree approved by the electoral law (LOREG) and considered it to be an “anomaly” that the method was not being used more frequently in modern democracies of the 21st century.
With regards to the specific technology used, Borràs maintained that the plan of action would ensure “the integrity, privacy and transparency of the process through the creation of a common voting platform”. In this sense, Borràs stated that tools that will be developed must guarantee the “safety and the identity of the voter, prevent duplications, and ensure voting secrecy and transparency throughout the electoral procedure”.