An observer is the person assigned by the list’s representative to:
- Attend the polling station committee and take part in its deliberations, although they are not allowed to vote.
- File complaints and protests and request certificates from the polling station committee.
Anyone who is a voter and is registered on the electoral roll can be appointed an observer.
There can be two observers per list appointed for each polling station committee, but they cannot perform their duties at the same time. Instead they have to replace each other in turns, which they can do whenever they wish.
The observers can only perform their role at the polling station for which they are accredited.
The representative of each list has until 18 December to nominate up to two observers for each polling station committee by issuing credentials’ sheets, with the date and signature at the bottom of the appointment.
The sheets in the book for each observer are divided into four parts:
- One is a counterfoil, which is retained by the representative;
- A second part to be given to the observer as their credentials;
- A third and fourth part are sent to the area commission, so it can send one to the polling station committee the observer is part of and one to the committee on the electoral roll where they are registered to exclude them from this committee.
Processing by area commissions will take place up until 18 December, and they will send the pages of the sheet to the committees so that they have them when they are constituted on the day of the election.
Between 8 and 8:30 am on the day of the vote, the observers must show their credentials (appointment) and National Identity Card (DNI) to the polling station committee chair, which will compare them with their sheets (copies which the committee has).
If the committee chair deems that the credentials presented by the observers comply with the sheets the committee has, they will admit the observers.
If the chair has not received the sheets or has doubts about the authenticity of the credentials, the identity of the person seeking accreditation or both, they will allow them to take up their positions, if they ask to do so, but will make a note in the committee’s record of constitution of their reservations for clarification and take action if need be.
If more than two observers turn up for the same list, the chair will only allow the first two to present their credentials to take up their posts and will number the credentials in order of appearance.
The sheets received by the chair must be enclosed with the electoral file. The credentials submitted by the observers will be returned to them once checked by the chair. If the chair does not receive the sheets, the pertinent credentials will have to be enclosed with the electoral file once the tallying of votes has been completed.
If the observer turns up at the committee after 8.30 am and after the polling station committee has been constituted, the chair will not allow them to take up their position, although they may vote at this polling place.
Observers who are salaried employees and civil servants who accredit their role as an observer have the right on the day of the election and on the following day to paid leave of a full working day on the day of the election, if it is a working day, and a reduction in their working day of five hours on the following day.
The observer attends the polling station committee and takes part in its deliberations, although they are not allowed to vote on any decisions taken.
They can file complaints and protests and ask for certificates, such as the record of the constitution of the polling station committee.
They can perform their role only at the polling station committee for which they are accredited. The observers for the same list accredited with the committee can replace each other whenever they wish.
The observers vote at the committee for which they are accredited, even if they are not on the electoral roll for this polling station committee, as long as they appear in the constituency corresponding to this committee. Otherwise, when the observer is not registered in the electoral constituency corresponding to the committee where they perform their duties they can vote by post.
An agent is the person appointed by the representative of each list to represent the list at election events and operations.
People over the age of 18 who have full exercise of their civil and political rights can be agents.
The representative of each list grants powers to the agent of that list.
The power of attorney is completed before a notary or before the secretary of the provincial or area electoral commission, who issue the corresponding credentials using the officially established form.
Agents must identify themselves by showing their credentials (appointment) and their National Identity Document to the members of the polling station committees and to the other competent authorities.
Agents who are salaried employees and civil servants who accredit their role as an agent have the right to paid leave on the day of the election.
- Freely enter all polling places.
- Observe how the voting and tallying is going at any polling station committee.
- File complaints and protests.
- Request certificates.
In addition, if there are no observers for their list, they can be observers for the polling station committee and take part in deliberations, although they are not allowed to vote.
Agents must identify themselves as such to the members of the polling station committee by showing their credentials and national identity card.
Agents vote at the committee where they are registered on the electoral roll.
Yes. Observers and agents can wear badges or stickers with the name and initials of the list they represent but only to identify themselves as observers or agents and not as electoral publicity.
No. When someone takes up post as an observer for a committee, they cannot act as an agent at other polling station committees.