On behalf of 15 Orihuela Costa residents, Helene Akerman, President of C.L.A.R.O., presented formal letters of complaint addressed to the Electoral Registration office (Censo Electoral) and the Orihuela Town Hall requesting explanations as to why they were not able to vote in the Orihuela municipal elections on 26 May.
This is potentially a serious matter involving the denial of a basic, legal, democratic right. Thanks to the persons concerned who contacted C.L.A.R.O. representatives at three different polling stations in Orihuela Costa on 26 May, we have been able to coordinate this collective action.
However, the extent of the problem will not be known until the authorities have investigated and replied to the formal complaints now registered. It is very probable that this is just the tip of the iceberg and many others experienced the same problem on voting day but did not raise the alarm. The outcome of the election may even have been affected.
C.L.A.R.O., as a political party which contested the election, has also demanded explanations.
On the day of the election, the complainants, all non-Spanish EU citizens, British and Irish nationals, approached C.L.A.R.O. party representatives on duty at the three different polling stations to say that they had been denied the right to vote in the municipal elections, despite having voting cards, having voted previously in municipal elections and being able to vote in the European Parliament elections held the same day.
As EU citizens, once the wish to participate in local or European Parliament elections has been registered, this right can only be revoked by a formal declaration. No such declarations have been made. C.L.A.R.O. promised to take action on their behalf.
It has taken time to engage a competent lawyer, prepare formal complaints and to re-contact the persons concerned and have them sign the letters of complaint.
Since we believe that this may only be the tip of the iceberg, we appeal to any Orihuela Costa or Entre Naranjo residents who were denied their right to vote in the Orihuela municipal elections on 26 May, despite being registered to vote, having voted in previous local elections and who have not formally withdrawn this right to contact us either by e-mail on Claropolitico@gmail.com or telephone 0044(0) 771 902 8057 or 0034 669 350 491. No costs are involved in joining this action.
The greater the number of those affected who formally complain, the more seriously the authorities will take this apparent violation of a legal, fundamental right. If it results from an administrative error or, more seriously, a manipulation of the vote, we demand to know and we will seek responsibilities.