Mail-in voting, which fluctuated between almost 3% and 4% in the last two general elections, is —in the elections of July 23— more under control than ever. On the one hand, the election will be held on a bridge that will most likely be hot in the middle of summer. Furthermore, the PP has been casting suspicion that for days the public company Correos you are not handling it well. And recent cases of alleged vote-buying in Melilla or Mojácar, ultimately involving officials from several parties, have raised all the alarms. Correos denies as “hoaxes” that there is a problem of queues or gatherings in his offices, while admitting without giving more information a greater influx of requests for votes by mail. Company sources also claim that the device is designed to increase personnel and hours in order to avoid any accidents. The unions, for their part, are asking for more personnel.
The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who was president of the Post Office for three years under the government of José María Aznar between 2000 and 2003, has been complaining for days about Pedro Sánchez’s extraordinary and early call for the general elections on 23- j And this despite the fact that he had been asking for an early election for months because he believed that the cycle of this government was over even before the bad results for the current executive in the local elections of 28-M. Feijóo and the PP are now wondering if the polls will open in midsummer during the long weekend in Santiago. Feijóo’s PP are aware that many voters could choose to vote by mail in this case and they don’t trust that the current management of that public company, chaired by Juan Manuel Serrano, Sánchez’s former PSOE chief of staff, is doing everything as possible to facilitate such operations in these special circumstances. Feijóo insisted again this Tuesday, during an interview with Onda Cero, in questioning the leadership of that company —he always tries to save the postmen— demanding that he take extreme caution in the face of this electoral ploy. Furthermore, he has called for a campaign to encourage this type of voting and for the extension of the opening hours of his offices, in some cases to afternoons and even on weekends.
The director and head of external communications of Correos, Juanjo Castillo, points out that all these warnings have already been taken into account by the company, which has launched a campaign on radio and social networks to promote postal voting. The company plans to formalize up to 5,500 fixed-term contracts to cover 100% of staff holidays in July and will maintain normal hours that month in its 2,389 offices across Spain, as well as enabling exclusive windows for managing these procedures in the locations deemed necessary. Correos points out that it will also promote the use of the prior appointment system that already works in 503 of its offices and that when they deem it necessary they will activate “the shift manager option for voting by mail, to prioritize attention or channel it to specific locations, to accelerate attention and reduce waiting times in offices during the election period”.
Correos responds to the evidence of the heat that will presumably occur during this election campaign that their officials and postmen are already working every year in July, whether or not there is an election, and on this occasion they will take exceptional measures if necessary in that regard, as they will also in matters of security, if the Central Electoral Council finally certifies at its meeting this Thursday the obligation to provide the DNI when casting this type of vote, as it is now necessary to request documentation, and as it happened 28-M for the elections in the autonomous city of Melilla.
The top management of the company acknowledges that in the week already in force for requesting the documentation of the vote by mail, they generally appreciated “a greater influx” at their headquarters, but they do not even provide to what extent this request for voting by mail is increased or presence in their offices. Naturally, they deny that there have been crowds or queues on a regular basis. Correos therefore confirms that it will not provide official voting data by mail until July 19, the deadline for processing such requests. The time limit for obtaining certification of this type of grade ends on 13-J. The vote can also be requested online with an electronic identity document or with the self-signature application from the Ministry of Finance.
The unions have taken advantage of this electoral call to demand an increase in their workforce and recall that in recent years it has suffered a cut of 7,000 people. However, the federal head of the CC OO, Regino Martín Barco, did not want to be alarmist about the reliability of a system that works and asked politicians not to be “irresponsible” and not to create insecurity. Postal unions estimate the shortage of postmen at about 4,500. They also criticize the company’s debt, which they estimate at 750 million, and are now waiting for the increase in personnel to arrive on time and not as in the last elections in May, where a reinforcement of 2,500 men was announced but was not seen in the end . Correos says that even without this increase, service has been shown to go without setbacks.
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