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Pucherazo as always in Galicia with the nuns

Jesus Carames

February 18, 2024 | 9:26 p.m.

During the recent elections in Galicia, nuns have been observed assisting elderly inmates in several nursing homes, including in Cambados, Lugo, and Vigo, to exercise their right to vote. This fact, which has been reported by El Salto, it is not the first time that it happens, generating debate about the ethics and legality of this practice. In particular, at the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly Asylum in Lugo, this behavior has drawn attention due to precedents in previous elections where a similar intervention by nuns and PP officials was observed, generating controversy.

What are the ethical and legal concerns?

The nuns' assistance to the elderly in voting raises important ethical and legal questions, especially when they are seen placing the ballot into voters' hands outside polling stations. This type of assistance may be perceived as undue influence on the voting of vulnerable people, particularly if the elderly have mobility problems or dementia. Furthermore, this practice has been the subject of controversy in the past, such as in 2012, when the "carretaxe" (carrying) of elderly voters by PP officials in Lugo was reported, an act that, although it did not fit into the crimes classified in the electoral law according to a 2017 order, raised concerns about electoral manipulation and respect for the independent will of voters.

What precedents exist for this practice?

The case of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly Asylum in Lugo is not isolated. In 2023, he had already generated headlines for similar actions during the general elections, when it was reported that nuns were putting ballots in the pockets of the elderly before accompanying them to vote. This practice has been recurrent in several elections, which has led to questions about the integrity of the electoral process and the autonomy of older voters in Galicia. Although the actions have not resulted in convictions for electoral crimes, they have sparked public debate about the need to ensure that assistance to vulnerable voters is carried out in a way that fully respects their freedom of choice.

The assistance of nuns to the elderly in nursing homes to vote in Galicia highlights the delicate line between facilitating the exercise of the right to vote by vulnerable people and protecting the independence of their electoral decision. This phenomenon highlights the importance of establishing clear and ethical procedures that ensure that all voters, regardless of their health status or residence, can participate in the electoral process in a free and informed manner, avoiding any form of undue influence or manipulation.

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