Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Voting Procedures for the Catalan Referendum on Independence

December 13, a non-official referendum on independence will take place in Catalonia. When I here describe the voting procedures, the perspective is that of my adopted hometown - Vilanova i la Geltrú - but they are to be the same in all the 161 municipalities (municipis) taking part in this round.

The responsibility for the referendum to be carried out in a proper manner lies with the local platform VNG Decideix, which in turn forms part of the pan-Catalan Coordination Group for the referenda (Co-ordinadora per a la consulta 13-D). On this day, all residents are invited to formally answer the question "Do you agree that the Catalan nation should become a state-of-law, independent, democratic and social, integrated in the European Union?" (My translation of: "Està vostè d’acord que la nació catalana esdevingui un estat de dret, independent, democràtic i social, integrat en la Unió Europea?"). There is only one approved ballot-paper in which voters will be able to tick the answers yes or no, or leave them both empty (a blank vote). Thanks to an impressive volunteer effort last Sunday, ballot papers and voting envelopes are being distributed to the city's 28,000 households in advance, but they will also be available at the polling stations.

In order to cover the whole geographic area, VNG Decideix offers eight polling stations, none which belongs to any public authority. Most are provided by different organizations such as the FC Barcelona fan club (la Penya Barcelonista de Vilanova), or the castellers-team (those who build human towers), els Bordegassos. All voters will have the right to select the polling station which they prefer but informatics support will prevent anyone from voting more than once. The voting will take place from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm, after which, and under the supervision of observers, the counting begins.

The referendum is open to everyone who has reached the age of 16 years and registered on the electoral roll (empadronat) of the municipality. That means (to my agony - more on that in a later post) that even non-Spanish citizens have the right to vote. Spanish citizens must identify themselves with their ID card (DNI) and foreigners with their version (the old NIE). Foreigners who identify themselves with passport and Spanish nationals who do not have the correct address in their DNI must bring the official document which certifies that they are registered here (certificat d'empandronament).

For those who have the right to vote, but can not attend on December 13, there exist possibilities to vote in advance. Already last Saturday, this could be done in the information kiosk which VNG Decideix has on the Rambla in the town centre, and will be offered again at the same place on the 5th, 9th and 12th December.

If you have any questions about this referendum, please, write a comment. I will to try to answer and, if necessary, ask the 'experts' from VNG Decideix for support.

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Relaterad posts on this blog:

- Catalan Independence and Yet Another Neutral Swede
- Catalan Independence? Coming Sunday Brings Us the Answer
- Catalanism is Not Independentism
- The Referendum in Vilanova – Highly Interesting or Utterly Boring?
- December 13, Catalonia Holds a Referendum on Independence
- Arenys de Munt – the First of Many Catalan Referenda
- Can Catalonia Hold a Referendum om Independence?

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Technorati tags: Catalonia, Independence, Referendum, Spain, Vilanova,

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