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Is it mandatory to vote in the referendum in Ecuador? What fine is there? What justifications are there for not voting?


In Ecuador, voting is mandatory and those who do not vote will face fines established by the Ecuadorian Electoral Code. There are some exceptions in order not to be fined. we tell you. 

Ecuador votes for the 2023 Referendum: this is what you should know 1:00

(CNN Spanish) --

Ecuadorians arrive this weekend at the polls for the provincial elections and the referendum of eight questions on constitutional reform promoted by President Guillermo Lasso.

There are just over 13 million Ecuadorians qualified for this referendum that seeks to ask citizens if they agree or not, among others, with the extradition of Ecuadorians who have committed transnational crimes, the formation of a Fiscal Council that elects and regulates the servers of the Attorney General's Office, reduce the number of assembly members, among others.

Although this is an atypical election due to the referendum, the truth is that in Ecuador voting is mandatory and those who do not vote will face fines established by the Ecuadorian Electoral Code.

  • The arguments for and against the referendum in Ecuador: what do two political actors who promote “yes” and “no” say?

Voting is mandatory in Ecuador

In Ecuador, voting is mandatory by constitutional mandate.

Those who do not go to the polls receive an economic sanction and do not obtain the voting certificate that is necessary for dozens of procedures in the country.

The voting certificate is used for dozens of public and private procedures and has become a headache for citizens when it is lost.


What are the fines?

Not participating in the elections entails a fine of 10% of a unified monthly remuneration, and 15% of that amount for the members of the receiving boards who do not show up for training or at the voting tables.

For the year 2021, the fines for not voting were US$40 and up to US$100 for the members of the receiving boards.

What is at stake in the referendum on February 5 in Ecuador?


What justifications are there for not voting?

Article 292 of the Ecuadorian Code of Democracy establishes five justifications for not voting in an election, according to the Government of Ecuador.

1. Those who cannot vote by legal mandate.

For example, Ecuadorians who live abroad and who are part of the Armed Forces or the Police.

2. Those who cannot vote for reasons of health or physical impediment verified with the certificate of a medical doctor of the National Public or Private Health System.

3. Those who have suffered a serious domestic calamity that occurred on the day of the elections or up to eight days before.

4. Those who, on the day of the elections, are absent or arrive in the country, as well as those who are outside the national territory.

5. Those who have an optional or voluntary vote (under 18 and over 65), are not obliged to vote.

In other words, in Ecuador young people from the age of 16 are allowed to participate in the elections.

However, among those 16 and under 18, as well as those over 65, voting is voluntary.

And if these people don't vote, they won't get fined.

How to justify the lack?

When a person does not vote, they must present the documents that justify their absence from the polls before the electoral body of the National Electoral Council before their respective electoral constituency.

The documents that must be presented to justify that someone is not going to vote are the citizenship card, and some document, depending on the calamity or justification, to verify the lack, and thus avoid sanctions.

For example:

  • Death certificate of a family member or document that supports the domestic calamity.

  • In case of not being in the country, passport copies in which the entry and exit of the country during the electoral process is recorded, or migratory certificate, if the trip was by land and with an identity card.

  • Present an identity document to establish the age and the optional vote.

Elections Ecuador Referendum

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-02-03

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