The Government downplays the decline in participation in the regional elections that are held this day. The Minister of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency of the Generalitat, Bernat Sole, pointed out that within the context of the health crisis, the participation figure is “comparable to elections that have been held within the pandemic” in other countries. Also, he recalled that in the first strip, until noon, the most vulnerable groups voted and that from then on there will be more “voting density of the general group of people”, more numerous. He also highlighted that there is a 350% increase in the vote by mail that is counted once the ballot box votes finish.

22.80% of the Catalans called to the polls had voted until 1:00 p.m. They are 11.94 points less than in the elections of 21-D of 2017 when a 34.69% participation was registered at the same time. Sole considers that even though in some tables the polls were not set up until an hour after the schools opened, the electoral boards must decide whether to extend the voting day but that in the demarcations of Girona, Tarragona and Lleida the schedule will be respected fixed and in Barcelona, they would be in specific schools that could close later.

Also, he stressed that there may be a “lengthening” of the scrutiny and that the results will be known later than in “elections held normally” since the members of the polling station must do so in “total safety” with Epis suits on to avoid contagions. Precisely in the time slot from 19 to 20 hours, the infected or suspicious voters will go. Solé indicated that there is an application on participation in real-time so that voters avoid queues, in addition to that, a health officer prevents crowded queues from forming and distances are respected. He is also aware that the Provincial Electoral Boards have endorsed that a polling station started voting with two members instead of three, which could generate some a priori irregularity.

By demarcations, in Barcelona 22.22% have voted with more than 90% of the communicated tables (in the previous ones 34.58% did so), in Girona, 24.16% have exercised their right to vote (four years it was 35.20%), Lleida has participated by 24.18% that contrasts with 34.41% in 2017 and in Tarragona and Terras del Ebre, 22.68% have participated (the figure for 2017 was 35.11%). This is the participation figure reported by almost 100% of the polling stations. A total of 5,624,044 Catalans are called to vote in the elections this Sunday to elect the 135 deputies of the Parliament.

ALL TABLES CONFORMED

In his first appearance, Sole guaranteed “total normality” on election day with 100% of the polling stations formed “despite all the difficulties” due to the health emergency and the excuses that had arisen. “In recent days 34,000 allegations have been presented to avoid being part of a polling station, of which the zone Electoral Boards have responded favorably to 22,000. The electoral boards are meeting to determine if there is any setback with the formation of the polling stations.