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Voting Board Members

​​​​​​Establishment of Voting boards

For all operations to be considered valid, the voting board must only be set up at the time appointed for the meeting of the assembly — 8 a.m. on the day of the election — and at the place that has been previously decided.

However, the members of the voting boards must be at the place of operation of the assembly one hour before the scheduled time for the start of the electoral operations, so that they can begin at the fixed time.

The appearance of the members of the voting boards at 7 a.m. for the opening of the assembly is justified by the need to prepare all the necessary material, as well as to coordinate the work to be developed in relation to electoral operations.

The time should also be used to verify, through the electoral rolls, the exact number of voters registered to vote at the voting board.

It would be important for all members of the voting boards to meet on the day or days prior to the election to take note of the Voting boards Members' Handbook, discuss it, and try in advance to resolve any doubts that may arise during election operations. Equally important, it would be that, in collaboration with the Municipal Councils and Parish Councils, they certify, at the place of operation of the voting board, the conditions (for example, lack of electoral propaganda, correct signage, etc.) and infrastructures (ballot boxes, voting chambers, ballpoint pens, etc.) necessary for the electoral act.

The members of the voting boards must ensure the correct arrangement in the room of the working table and the voting boards in such a way that, on the one hand, the secrecy of voting is strictly preserved – the chambers being placed in such a way that both the members of the table and the delegates cannot reveal the voters' way of voting – and it is avoided, on the other hand, that voters stay out of sight of the table and delegates (see Judgment of the Constitutional Court 13/2002, DR II Series, No. 25, of 30/01/2002).

The members of the Voting board

The voting board shall consist of five members: a President and a Vice-President and three members, one Secretary and two Scrutineers. For operations to be considered valid, at least three members must always be present, one of whom must be the chairman or vice-chairman, and at least two other members.

Once the voting board has been set up, the president shall publish the names of the members of the voting board, with a notice posted at the door of the voting boards.

The performance of the function of board member is mandatory.

There may only be a refusal to perform the duties of a member of the voting board on grounds of force majeure or just cause.

The following are justifiable causes of impediment:

• Age over 65 years.
• Illness or physical impossibility proven by the municipal health delegate.
• Change of residence to the area of another municipality, which must be proven by the Parish Council of the new residence.
• Absence abroad, duly proven.
• Exercise of professional activity of an unpostponable nature, proven by a hierarchical superior.

The justification must be presented, in writing, whenever the voter can do so, up to 3 days before the election, to the Mayor of the Municipality.

Material for voting boards

Up to 3 days before the election, the mayors shall arrange for the delivery to the president of the assembly or voting board of the following material:

• Notebook of minutes of electoral operations with opening term signed by the mayor and with all sheets initialled.
• Printed matter and other necessary work elements.
• Ballot papers.
• Two copies of the electoral rolls to be used at the voting boards.
• Notice with applications subject to change.

Impossibility of setting up the voting board

If at 9 a.m., it has not been possible to constitute the board because the minimum number of three (3) members are not present, the president of the parish council must be at once notified, who will appoint the substitutes of the absent members from among the electoral agents of the corresponding bursary.​
If, despite the voting board being constituted, if one of the members is missing, the president of the parish council replaces him with any voter belonging to the bursary of electoral agents.
If it is not possible to appoint electoral agents, the president shall appoint the substitutes of the absent members from among the voters of the parish with the agreement of the majority of the other members of the voting board and of the representatives of the candidacies, and the appointment of the members of the board who have not attended shall be deemed ineffective from that moment.
Once the Voting board has been constituted under these conditions, the respective notice must be drawn up at once by the President.
The names of the defaulting members must be communicated to the mayor.
Delegates of the nominations may not be appointed to replace the missing members of the Voting board.


In addition to this information, the members of the voting board have in the Electoral Administration of SGMAI an interlocutor always available for the clarification of all doubts that arise and that need solution or interpretation.

Address: Praça do Comércio, East Wing, 1149-015 Lisbon.

For the telephone contact, which can be made on the day of the election from 7 am, the following numbers can be used:

Phone: 21 394 71 00
Voter Helpline: 808 206 206