Photo by Núria Sendrós
By Albert Acín
The Spanish consulate in Milan has given out 27-S (27 September 2015) documentation to Catalans abroad, within to vote on 21-D (21st December 2018). The incident occurred when certain citizens attempted to register on the CERA (Electoral Census for Absent Residents), which is used so Spanish citizens resident and registered abroad can vote in elections within Spain.
El Nacional contacted one of the affected, Núria Sendrós. A restaurateur, she has lived in Milan for 25 years, has encountered several problems in filling out the application. Sendrós attempted to download the CERA registration via the internet, but it was then that she came across the first hurdle: “I couldn’t download the document. It only gave me the possibility to download the document if I was from the province of Tarragona”, she explained to this newspaper.
Because of these problems, Sendrós went to the Spanish consulate in Milan, on Friday November 3rd, to request the documentation, and at first sight, there was ostensibly no problem. A worker at the embassy gave her the document. The surprise was that it did not correspond to the elections scheduled for this December 21: “I saw that the document was for the 2015 elections and then I sought advice from a group of Catalans in Milan, who helped me to get the valid document”.
With her paperwork up to date, Sendrós finally sent the documentation by fax to the Provincial Delegation of the Census, as required by electoral rules. For Spanish voters abroad, once this authority approves their application to join the electoral roll, they will send electoral documentation to enable the citizen to vote by mail, or in person at the consulate, whichever option the person in question prefers. Sendrós said, “I prefer to vote in person at the consulate to keep an eye on the number of ballots submitted, especially after everything that has happened.”