In Spain, 2.6 million people vote by mail

The general elections in Spain next Sunday will take place during the summer holidays, which led to 2.6 million people to vote by mail, a figure that fueled fears of manipulation fueled by the right and far right. 6 percent of the register requested to vote this way, an unprecedented figure.

The interest has been such that the Electoral Board decided last Thursday, the deadline date, “to extend the deadline for delivery by the voters of the voting envelopes at the Post Offices until Friday”, to “facilitate as much as possible the right of citizens to vote”.

Since the campaign began, the opposition has cast doubt on the ability of the postal service to meet the high demand, hinting that ballots could be left uncounted. “I ask the postmen of Spain to work to the maximum, morning, afternoon and night and, even if they do not have enough reinforcements, to know that they are guarding something that is sacred to the Spanish, which is their vote”affirmed the leader of the Popular Party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

The head of the far-right formation Vox, Santiago Abascal, said he was “extraordinarily concerned”, since in his opinion the postal service has not had “the necessary means”. This is added to “the bad intention of calling elections in the vacation period of the Spaniards,” he added.

“Smear”

In recent weeks, postal voting has spawned numerous fake news stories claiming that the election date had been chosen to organize “electoral fraud” for the benefit of the left. “There is no precedent” in Spain for national elections in the summer, says Giselle García Hípola, a political scientist at the University of Granada, for whom this has led to misinformation.

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By sowing doubts, the parties are committing a “dangerous” strategy, warns García Hípola. “When you doubt a public entity, you doubt forever, no matter what political color” it governs. “This is a typical strategy of populism and we are seeing it all over the world, not only in Spain,” he added, referring to the accusations of fraud launched by Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro after their defeats.

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