Should the vote of Salvadorans living abroad be allowed in the 2021 elections?

November 5th, 2019

The vote of Salvadorans living abroad for the 2021 elections is not allowed, but should it be? This is another hot topic that Salvadorans living outside the country and those in the country will be dealing with until the 2021 elections.

It’s important to point out that Salvadorans living abroad can vote during presidential elections. However, the 2021 elections are for municipality Mayors and Senator (Diputados in Spanish). Just like many other issues affecting the country, this topic has good arguments for it and against it.

Requirements to vote in El Salvador’s 2021 elections.

These are the main requirements to vote in the 2021 Salvadoran election. A voter has to be over 18th years old, have an unexpired DUI (Documento Unico de Identidad), and live in El Salvador.

If you meet these requirements, you will be allowed to vote on the 2021 elections; you can vote for mayor of the municipality you live in, and for Diputados (Senators) of the department you reside in.

Creating a law that makes sense.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal or Tribunal Supremo Electoral are the ones in charge of running the election. However, the ones who will decide whether the vote is allowed or not are the Diputados (Senators) at the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador.

The Salvadoran Supreme Court of Justice ordered the general assembly “Asamblea General” to create legislation on this issue.

The senators or Diputados were given until the end of November to decide on this issue and create law.

This is the area where there is no general consensus on what the best options are; both major political parties ARENA & FMLN don’t have an agreement on the matter.

The argument, the vote of Salvadorans living abroad should be allowed.

The two main arguments that Salvadorans living in the exterior should be allowed are as follow:

  • They are Salvadorans, so they have the right to vote!
  • Salvadorans who live in the exterior support the Salvadoran economy with the money they send into the country; therefore, they should have a say in who governs.

Of course, these are just two of the main reasons; obviously, there could be others not listed here.

The arguments against allowing the vote

Before I continue, let me clarify that as of today, Salvadorans living outside the country are allowed to vote in the presidential elections, but not on local elections.

Now the two main points against it are as follow:

  • They don’t live in the city or municipality, so why should they be allowed to vote?
  • What about the votes of Salvadorans abroad who don’t have residence anywhere in El Salvador. Which candidate will get those votes?

Obviously, there are other reasons against it not listed here.

My personal opinion on the vote of Salvadorans living abroad.

When it comes to this topic, I can go either way, I don’t have a strong opinion for it or against it. Nevertheless, this topic will be in the news at least until the end of 2020.

So, what is your opinion about the subject, are you for it, against it, or don’t care? Or are you like me, who can go either way!

  • Tribunal Supremo Electoral

  • My point of view.