Toledo, 4 April 2023 – The regional government has begun the organizational process for the upcoming autonomous elections on 28 May, in which almost 1.6 million voters will participate. Over 4,000 people will be involved in the organization and development of the elections, 32 million ballots and 3.2 million envelopes will be distributed, and over 3,100 polling stations will be set up in 1,477 locations. These details were provided by the Minister of Treasury and Public Administrations, Juan Alfonso Ruiz Molina, at the press conference held in the Palacio de Fuensalida in Toledo to inform about the matters approved this week at the Council of Government, including those related to the upcoming elections.
Ruiz Molina stated that the citizens will exercise “their right to free and democratic vote,” through which they will elect their representatives in the autonomous Parliament. 33 deputies will be chosen in total, with seven from Albacete, another seven from Ciudad Real, five from Cuenca, five from Guadalajara, and nine from Toledo. The campaign will take place in the two weeks before the elections, specifically from 12 May to 27 May, and the inaugural session of the Cortes will take place on the next day, 22 June, at 11:00.
The minister also mentioned “two important novelties” regarding the 2019 elections, one concerning the Entities of Inferior Territorial Scope (EATIM), and the other with the CERA vote of the Census of Resident Absentee Voters. EATIM elections will be completely organized by the Junta de Comunidades through the Ministry of Treasury and Public Administrations, and it will be held on 28 May. There are a total of 42 EATIMs in Castilla-La Mancha, having a population of 7,547, and will be constituted alongside the region’s municipalities on 17 June.
Previously, Spaniards residing abroad and duly registered in the Censo de Electores Residentes Ausentes (CERA) had to request or plead for the vote to exercise their active suffrage. This request has significantly reduced the level of participation of foreign residents in previous years, resulting in only 4.57% of registrants able to vote. Hence, the modification of the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime abolishes the need to request or plead for the vote for Spaniards residing abroad. More than 36,000 Castilla-La Mancha residents will be affected by this change, residing in 123 countries. The ballots and voting envelopes will be sent to embassies and consulates to facilitate in-person voting by those who want it.
The minister also introduced the website “Elecciones 2023,” accessible to all citizens, which will be a reference platform for all the actors involved in the electoral process. It will include a calendar with dates of interest before the elections, information on where and how to vote, and a list of candidates. The website is intuitive and easily accessible, with content updated regularly. The Centre for Data Dissemination will be located in the School of Regional Administration, and the projected budget for election organization is 4.3 million euros.
Finally, Ruiz Molina informed that the Council of Government has approved the decree that sets the maximum limit of electoral expenses that political groups can incur in the parliamentary elections, which will be published in the official regional journals. This decree establishes the maximum amount that each political party can spend per constituency, which is the province, based on the number of residents, excluding postal costs for electoral propaganda. The decree sets a maximum of 0.47 euros per inhabitant, which is the same as in the 2019 Autonomous Elections.