Am I allowed to take time off work?

Publication: Monday, May 3, 2021 10:42

A total of 5,112,658 people are called to vote in the regional elections in Madrid on May 4, elections which live this Monday their day of reflection and which are unique, because they are the first to be held in advance in the region, fall on a weekday and also take place in the midst of the pandemic.

Of these 5,112,658 people, according to INE data, 4,783,528 reside in the Community of Madrid and are those who could vote in person in the region, although more than 211,000 citizens sent their votes by mail, a figure which represents a 47% increase compared to the 2019 regional and municipal elections.

Voters will be able to choose between twenty candidates for the Madrid Assembly, five more than in 2019 and seven of them new. Among the repeating candidates are the six currently represented in Madrid’s parliament: the PSOE, the PP, Ciudadanos, Más Madrid, Vox and Unidas Podemos.

With their vote, voters will elect 136 deputies (four more than so far due to the increase in population in the region), which will make the Madrid Assembly the regional parliament with the highest number of representatives.

Early elections and the working day

These will be unusual elections in the Community of Madrid as they are the first anticipated in the history of the region, meaning that the invested government will remain in power for the remaining two years of the legislature, until 2023.

In addition, these elections take place on a working day, Tuesday May 4, which so far had only happened in the 1987 elections.

The date set was May 4 since, according to the Electoral Law of the Community of Madrid of 1986, 54 days must elapse since the announcement of the elections.

People who work on Tuesdays and want to vote are entitled to two to four hours of paid leave depending on working hours to approach their polling station.

Only workers whose working hours do not coincide with the opening of the polling stations or do so for a period of less than two hours will not be entitled to this paid leave.

Likewise, the employers in Madrid recalled that the members of the polling stations who must be absent from their work that day to fulfill this “inexcusable duty” paid a holiday on polling day and also 5 hours on the day. next day.

Although it is a working day, May 4 will not be teaching in the non-university public, private and subsidized centers in the region and the nurseries will not be open either, since some kindergartens have been designated by the municipalities as electoral colleges.

Companies that refuse to issue these permits can be reported to the labor inspectorate by workers and unions, facing fines of more than 6,000 euros.

But not only can it be denounced by administrative means, but since it is a fundamental right enshrined in the workers’ statute, it could be brought before the courts for violation of the fundamental right to vote.

In this context, the various electoral commissions in the region processed until Thursday, April 30, 18743 excuses for not being a member of a polling station against 13,127 during the 2019 elections.

In this way, the Electoral Council of Alcalá resolved the submitted 1793s (1172 in 2019); Aranjuez, 750 (in 2019 there were 600); Colmenar, 1,200, when in previous elections the apologies amounted to 975; The capital of Madrid, 12,000 against 8,000 at the time of the last call to the polls; Navalcarnero, 2000 (1380 in 2019) and San Lorenzo de El Escorial 1000 others, for the moment as in the elections of two years ago.

In total, there will be 1,084 polling stations in the region, up from 1,065 in the 2019 regional and municipal elections, in addition to 7,265 polling stations, 9,000 ballot boxes and 2,500 voting booths.

For these elections, 96 million ballots were printed, 40,000 others for the vote of Madrilenians registered on the electoral list of absent residents (CERA) and 350,000 for the postal vote.

Measures against COVID-19

It will be the fourth elections to be held during the coronavirus pandemic in Spain after the Galicians, Basques and Catalans, who made it necessary to take extreme security measures and establish certain rules and recommendations.

Polling stations will be open from nine in the morning to eight in the afternoon, but the Community of Madrid recommends that people over 65 or with a disability go to vote between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and, in your case, your caregivers.

In the case of people with or suspected of having coronavirus, the recommendation is that they go from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Voters should come to the polling station with their own mask and will have a surgical mask available on the premises, the use of which is recommended on top of the one they are wearing at the time. In addition, there will be hydroalcoholic gel and gloves in the centers as additional protective measures.

In total, the Community of Madrid has prepared five million surgical masks, 124,000 of the FFP2 type for the members of the electoral tables and more than 55,000 liters of hydroalcoholic gel.

Polling stations will have an entry lane and an exit lane, as well as markings on the ground indicating the two-meter distance that must be maintained between voters and polling station members, and between the latter between them.

Voters are advised to prepare their ballot papers and to stay inside the college only as long as necessary to vote. To avoid the risks, there will be trays in the polling stations for voters to deposit their ID without the members of the polling station needing to handle it, who in turn will have FFP2 masks, a screen face shield and gloves, although they will not wear bibs. protection.

If a person at the table or a voter begins to feel unwell and has symptoms of COVID-19, the person in charge of health security in charge of each polling station will be notified, who will accompany them to a room where he will remain isolated and, if necessary, will be contacted with the 112 health service.

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