How can Salvadorans vote in elections? The next elections are in 2024

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Oct 20th, 2022
How can Salvadorans vote in elections
Feb 28 2021 voting center in Sensuntepeque.

How can Salvadorans vote in elections? Salvadorans within the country can vote in all public elections at the designated polling place in the municipality they reside. Salvadorans living abroad can vote via the internet and at designated locations such as consulates and embassies; however, some restrictions may apply.

To cast a vote in the Salvadoran elections, voters must meet the basic requirements, such as being a Salvadoran and having an unexpired Salvadoran Identification Card (DUI). Voting with a passport or an expired DUI might be an option for the upcoming 2024 Elections.

Salvadoran Identification Card (DUI)

The Unique Identity Document (DUI) is the identification document used in El Salvador for natural persons and to identify citizens who are eligible to vote. This is the most essential item needed to cast a vote in public elections.

To vote, Salvadorans must show their Unique Identity Document (DUI) card in good condition at the assigned voting places. The DUI must match the records held by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador (Tribunal Supremo Electoral de El Salvador).

Individuals that change any detail on their DUI after the deadline established by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) will not be able to cast a vote. Their new DUI details will not match those of the TSE records.

Salvadoran Unique Identity Document (DUI)
Salvadoran Unique Identity Document (DUI)

Voting with Salvadoran Passport.

It seems that for the upcoming 2024 elections, Salvadorans living abroad will be allowed to vote with a passport. However, Salvadorans living in the country will not be granted this option.

Deputy Jose Raul Chamagua of the New Ideas political party stated in a TV interview that Salvadorans abroad would be able to vote with a passport. Chamagua is the Secretary of the Commission for Electoral and Constitutional Reforms of the legislative assembly.

As of October 20, 2022, the details of how Salvadorans abroad can vote using a passport can vote have been released. Once the details become public, we will update this article.

Voting with en expired Salvadoran Identification Card (DUI) or Passport

Again it seems that Salvadorans living abroad will have the option to vote with an expired passport or Salvadoran Unique Identity Document (DUI). Deputy Chamagua said it during a TV interview.

As of today, October 20, 2022, the details of how Salvadorans abroad can vote using an expired passport or DUI have not been released. Once again, when the facts get released, we will update this article.

How can Salvadorans living abroad vote in elections?

As of October 18, 2022, Salvadorans living abroad can vote in public elections for President, Vice-President, and deputies of the Salvadoran congress. Previously, those abroad could only vote for President and Vice-President and could only do it via the postal office.

On October 18, the Legislative Assembly approved the Special Law for the Exercise of Voting Abroad; it will allow face-to-face and remote electronic voting for Salvadorans residing abroad.

This is a historic step on the road to providing the rights that have always been denied to our brothers abroad. Each choice should serve as the basis for improving the next, not the other way around. Now, it will no longer be difficult or unmanageable for our brothers to vote.” President Naib Bukele.

Only Salvadorans with a Unique Identity Document (DUI) that shows a residential address outside El Salvador can vote via the internet.

Salvadorans that live abroad but whose Unique Identity Document (DUI) shows a Salvadoran address will have to vote in person at a designated polling location. Polling locations will be released next year by the Salvadoran Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

Within the next 12 months, the Salvadoran Supreme Electoral Tribunal will release more details regarding how can Salvadorans vote in elections, especially those living abroad.

Voting for Salvadorans living in El Salvador

Nothing has changed for Salvadorans living in the country; to vote, they must go to the assigned voting location in the municipality shown in their respective DUI.

As of today, October 20, 2022, there is no indication that those living in the country will be allowed to vote with either an expired or unexpired passport; or an expired ID card.

How can Salvadorans vote in elections?

The upcoming 2024 Salvadoran elections will be one of the most controversial in Salvadoran history as it will be the first time a sitting president could win re-election since 1939. President Nayib Bukele announced that he would seek a second presidential term on September 15th, 2022.

Many opposing political parties and the opposition question the implementation of votes from those living abroad. It does not include municipality elections, and all the votes will be credited to one department.

As of today, all the casted votes from outside El Salvador that have an address outside the country will be counted and accredited to the San Salvador department. This will not affect the presidential election; however, it could have a significant impact on the legislative elections.

I voted against the Law for the Exercise of Suffrage Abroad because it does not allow the diaspora to vote for municipal councils and PARLACEN. [Also] Sends all remote votes to San Salvador instead of recognizing the roots of each Salvadoran and opens doors to errors and fraud.” Deputy Claudia Ortiz.