Guide to voting in the Madrid elections: schedule and keys of 4-M

The regional elections in Madrid on May 4 have two extraordinary factors: they are held in the middle of a pandemic and on a weekday. More than five million Madrilenians are summoned to go to one of the polling stations that, despite being Tuesday, will not be filled with students, but with ballots. In this guide we have put together the main questions and answers for those who doubt whether they have the right to leave work to go to vote, what health measures they should follow or if there are times to leave the vote.

I’m going to vote at the ballot box

Can I go to vote at any time?

Yes, but it is recommended that those over 65 years of age vote from 10:00 to 12:00 and that people with symptoms or active disease do so during the last hour: from 19:00 to 20:00. The schools will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Is it possible to know if there are many people voting in my school?

Yes. Thanks to the app “4M Elecciones Madrid 2021” and the website that the Community has launched to follow the information of the day, citizens can consult the influx of voters in each electoral college.

What will I find when I get to the electoral college?

In each center there will be a person in charge of security, in charge of controlling access and ensuring that health standards are met. There will be hydroalcoholic gel, which will be mandatory for voters, surgical masks to be placed on top of those they wear, ventilation, continuous cleaning and a differentiated entry and exit route. In addition, those who are over 65 years of age or have a disability will have priority to enter, together with their companions, if they need it.

Will there be cabins?

Although the authorities recommend taking the prepared vote from home to take extreme precautions, there will be booths without curtains, distributed in such a way that the privacy of the voter is guaranteed.

Can I accompany someone to vote?

As a general rule, it is recommended that the voter go alone, except in case assistance is needed, such as the elderly or dependents.

And enter the electoral college with my children?

Yes. The Ministry of Health sent a clarification a few days ago to the Electoral Board so that citizens can access the voting centers with children.

How do I have to deliver the DNI?

On a tray and with the photo facing up. In no case should voters remove their mask, unless requested to do so by a member of the polling station.

Will there be auditors and proxies?

Yes. It is recommended that there be only one per candidate and table and that the safety distance is always maintained.

As it is a working day, do I have the right to be absent from work?

Yes, it is paid leave that is included in article 37 of the Workers’ Statute. The worker has the obligation to notify that he will go to vote, he cannot do so whenever he wants, and he must justify his absence by means of the supporting document that the polling stations will issue.

I will be part of a polling station

On May 4, thousands of people from Madrid will have to take part in one of the polling stations that will be distributed throughout the region. For the aforementioned, there is an instruction manual supervised by the Central Electoral Board in which it is explained how the day will pass and the health guidelines of the same. Given the circumstances, the voting tables will be located at a minimum distance of three meters and the length of each table will allow a separation of 1.5 meters between the members. In addition, each member must disinfect their work area and use their own pen or office supplies.

What do I do if I work and I have to be part of a table?

If a worker has to act as president, member, controller or proxy of the polling station, there is a full-time paid leave, to which is added, except for proxies, an additional five-hour leave the following day. The remuneration for these functions will at no time be deducted from the payroll and in the event of a mishap it will be considered a work accident.

Will they do some kind of test?

At the moment, the Community does not plan to carry out any type of test on the members of the polling stations or the rest of the personnel that are part of the electoral day.

Will I have protective material?

Yes, two FFP2 masks, a face protection screen (which will not be mandatory to wear), disposable gloves and hydroalcoholic gel. It will be mandatory to use the FFP2, unless this protection cannot be used due to health problems. In this case, they must use a surgical mask and face shield and prove to the Presidency of the table by means of a medical report the reason for not using it.

And when do people in quarantine vote (infected, close contacts or suspects)?

In principle, the Community does not plan to use personal protective equipment (PPE) as happened in the Catalan elections.

What will the scrutiny be like?

During the count, the FFP2 mask and single-use gloves will be used, the face shield is optional. Efforts will be made to maintain the safety distance and it will be ensured that the capacity in the room where the count is made allows 3 square meters per person and a minimum distance between them of 1.5 meters. If the room has windows, they will be kept open both during the count and throughout the day.

What happens if throughout the day I begin to feel unwell or have symptoms?

If during the voting process any of the members of the polling station begin to feel ill with symptoms of covid infection, they will be asked to keep away from the rest of the staff; A member of the table or the person who detects this situation will immediately notify the person in charge of health security, who will accompany him to a room equipped for the isolation of possible cases of infection. If this person is wearing a surgical mask, an FFP2 mask and bag will be provided. When you are in the isolation room, you will have to replace your mask and deposit the old one in the bag, which you will tie and throw in the pedal bin located in the room. The person in charge of health security will contact the health services, which will assess the procedure for action.

I am going to vote by mail from Spain or from abroad

In the last elections marked by the pandemic, the Catalan regional elections, the number of votes by mail was the highest in the history of those elections. The deadline to request it in Madrid has already ended and the number of Madrilenians who have chosen this route exceeds 230,000, 42.8% more than in the 2019 elections.

Until when can I vote by mail from Spain?

Voters residing in the Community of Madrid must send the vote via certified mail to the polling station no later than May 1 if they do so from their own region, and one day before, on April 30, if they do so from another community autonomous.

I’m temporarily out and I’m going to vote, how long can I do it?

You have until April 30 to send your vote by certified mail to your polling station.

I live abroad and I have already asked for my vote, what do I have to do now?

Residents abroad have until April 29 to send all the documentation and their vote to the Consular Office in which they are attached. If you prefer to vote in person, you can do so at the polls of the Consular Offices or Sections from April 30 to May 2.

With information from Isabel Valdés and Victoria Torres Benayas.

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