Monday, December 14, 2009

95% Vote Yes for Catalan Independence

Turnout for the referendum could reach 30%, according to the early returns

200,000 people have voted on Independence for Catalonia. Most municipalities easily surpassed the 20% mark * There were some that surpassed the turnout for the referendum on the Estatut [Statute of Autonomy]

Some 200,000 out of the 700,000 eligible voters went to the polls in the 166 municipalities in which they were able to decide today whether Catalonia should become an independent state within the European Union. These are provisional numbers given by the Coordinadora Nacional de la Consulta [National Coordinator for the Referendum]. Little by little the results are being made public, town by town, and you can follow the returns on this special page on Vilaweb.

In the vast majority of municipalities, the turnout was easily more than 20%, and in a few it was even higher than in other official elections, including the referendum on the Estatut [Statute of Autonomy] of 2006; this is the case for example, of Taradell, in which 2,608 voters have gone to the polls today. This was 954 more than voted in the European elections earlier this year, 803 more than who voted on the referendum for the European Constitution and 121 more than who voted on the referendum for the Estatut.

In some other towns, the turnout was much lower, as in the case of Roses (10.4%) and Vilanova i la Geltrú (15.6%).

The coordinating committee says it is satisified with the turnout and the mayor of Arenys de Munt, Carles Móra, spoke of the "overwhelming triumph of sovereigntism". The spokesperson for the coordinating committee, Uriel Bertan, explained that the turnout was highest where they were able to work in "equal conditions" as the institutions have done in other elections.

Out of the 700,024 Catalans at least 16 years of age—including registered immigrants—called to vote on independence, this Saturday the residents of the smallest town in Catalonia, Sant Jaume de Frontanyà, population 21, was the first municipality to complete the referendum after the pioneering Arenys de Munt. In total, there were 167 municipalities that held referendums, counting Sant Jaume de Frontanyà, spread out over 29 Catalan counties. The largest town where the vote was held was Sant Cugat del Vallès, where the mayor, Lluís Recoder (CiU), voted with an absentee ballot ahead of time, and the county with the most towns participating was Osona, with a total of 35.

The 252 electoral colleges and 564 tables opened, as on any other election day, at 9am and closed at 8pm. All of the data was contained in a central computer system that guaranteed that there was no electoral fraud, and that it was impossible to vote twice. In addition, there were representatives from all of the parties that supported the referendums: CDC, ERC, CUP, EPM's (in conjunction with ICV), and RCat, among others.

Originally published in VilaWeb on 14 December 2009

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