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Article 75

Voting by persons living abroad

1. For elections to members of the Congress of Deputies, of the Legislative Assemblies of Selfgoverning Communities, of the Assemblies of the Self-governing Cities of Ceuta and Melilla and of the European Parliament, where in this last case electors choose to vote in Spain, citizens entered in the Register of Absent Electors Residing Abroad must not later than the twenty-fifth day from the call of the election send an application for the exercise of the right to vote in a written form to the appropriate Provincial Delegation of the Electoral Register Office. Said form is to be sent to Spanish citizens entered in the aforesaid Register and shall also be made available from the day following that of the election call in consulates as well as through telecommunications means. The application form is to be sent together with a copy of the passport or National Identity Card issued by Spanish authorities or, in default thereof, with a certificate of registration in the Consular RollRegister (Registro de Matrícula Consular) issued by the Spanish Consulate in the country of residence.

2. On receipt of said application Provincial Delegations of the Electoral Register Office shall send to the elector’s registered address the ballot forms and the voting envelope or envelopes and two identical certificates of the voter’s inscription in the Register of Absent Electors Residing Abroad, together with an envelope addressed to the relevant Electoral Commission and a further envelope addressed to the corresponding Official Consulate or to the Consular Office of the Spanish Diplomatic Representation where the voter is registered.

3. Said certificates must be sent by registered mail not later than the thirty-fourth day from the call of the election in those provinces where no petition has been filed against candidates officially proclaimed and in all other provinces not later than the fourty-second day from said date.

4. Electors who opt for voting by mail must enclose in the envelope to the appropriate Electoral Register Office, together with the voting envelope or envelopes and the certificate of entry in the Electoral Register, a Photostat of their passport or National Identity Card issued by the Spanish authorities or, in default thereof, a nationality certificate or a certificate of registration in Consular Register Roll in the country of residence, and they shall send all these documents by registered mail to the Professional Consul’s Office or Consular Division of the Diplomatic Mission in the country of the elector’s registration not later than the firth day before the polling date. 

5. Electors choosing to put their vote into a ballot box shall do so between the fourth and the second day, both inclusive, before polling date, by personally handing their envelopes in the consular offices or divisions where they are registered or in the premises that may be made available for this purpose. To this end consular premises so prepared must contain one or more ballot boxes under the custody of a consular officer.

6. Electors must show evidence of their identity to the consular officer by producing their passport, National Identity Card, or a nationality certificate or certificate of registration in the Consular Roll Register issued by the Spanish Consulate in their country of residence, and, upon production and handing in of one of the certificates of entry in the Register of Absent Electors Residing Abroad they have previously received, they shall introduce the envelope addressed to the appropriate Commission for scrutiny, once the consular officer has put on said envelope the Consular Office’s seal, with an indication of the date of introduction.

7. During the days appointed for the introduction of votes into the ballot box, the competent consular officers shall take all steps to facilitate the exercise of the right of vote by the electors, as well as those deemed necessary for the appropriate custody maintenance and custody of the ballot boxes, including the sealing thereof at the end of each day. Representatives of concurring candidate are allowed to be present in the consular premises on the days of introduction of
envelopes into the boxes.

8. On expiration of the period for introduction of envelopes the consular officer shall draw up a minute specifying the number of electoral certifications received and, as the may case be, the incidents that may have arisen, as well as the number of envelopes received by mail until the end of the period for introduction of envelopes into the ballot boxes. On the following day the envelopes handed in by the electors and those received by mail, with the minutes of proceedings
drawn up by the consular office, shall be sent as electoral dispatch to the ad hoc electoral register office to be set up in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which is in turn to forware as a matter of urgency the aforesaid envelopes to the appropriate Electoral Commissions.

9. In all cases contemplated in the present Section the validity of said votes shall be conditional to the corresponding envelope clearly bearing a postmark or any other official mark of the Post Office of the country of origin or, as the case may be, of the Professional Consul’s Office or Consular Division of the Diplomatic Mission certifying in indubitable manner the observance of the time limits provided for in each case.

10. On general polling day the Electoral Commission competent in each case shall, before the counting begins, set itself up as election bureau at eight o’clock in the morning, with the attendance of the controllers appointed to this end by the concurring candidates.

11. The President shall thereupon introduce into the ballot box or boxes the voting envelopes of absent residents received up to that day and the Secretary shall write the voters’ names on the relevant list. The Electoral Commission shall immediately proceed to the counting of said votes and add the
results to the general count.

12. The Government is empowered, upon a report by the Central Electoral Commission, to lay down the criteria and restrict the cases where present section is to apply, as well as to make provision for other procedures for the vote of absents residing in foreign countries where present Section cannot apply.