Former presidential candidate and founder of the far-right Republican Action movement, José Antonio Kast harshly criticized the work the Electoral Service (Servel) is doing to expand existing voting mechanisms. In an interview with El Mostrador, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Servel, Patricio Santa María, said that together with the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (Segpres) they are evaluating legal reforms that allow people deprived of their liberty and early voting to vote, in view of Chile’s rich electoral calendar in 2021.
Faced with this possibility, Kast assured that the system as it is working, but that «servel’s idea of radical changes opens the door to mass fraud and that some have more options to steal the election,» he wrote on his Twitter account. We cannot allow early voting, electronic voting or voting in prisons. It is unacceptable and calls into question our entire electoral system,» he added
In 2017, a Supreme Court ruling found that persons in pre-trial detention or convicted of grieving sentences do not lose their right to vote, so Gendarmerie and Servel «are bound by both domestic regulations and international treaties signed by Chile, to ensure the timely and appropriate exercise of the right to participate in the democratic system , in their expression concerning the suffrage of the persons in favour of whom it is appealed, which keep their right to suffrage unsolume like other citizens and who cannot nevertheless exercise it by breaching the guarantee of equal treatment».
It is in this context that servel works to implement premises or a system that ensures the participation of the criminal population.
Galo Muñoz Director of the Social Penitentiary Observatory, valued servel’s intention to solve a problem that de facto prevents people deprived of their liberty from participating. «We have always thought that the prison system is invisible in the eyes of the legislator, of the Senate of Congress, because we did not provide any votes. But prisoners are not a fad, they are the result of a social problem that needs to be visible and needs to be ‘represented’ by the court takes away the right to travel, but no more. For us it is super important, because it means that we exist and that it is a problem that needs to be solved. So, now let’s talk about it. Those topped off, for example, could demand as a constitutional right, the right to social reintegration,» he explained.
On Kast’s opinion, Galo Muñoz minimized the ex-MP’s comments «Get him in jail first so he knows what it is. You have to go down to the prenithentiary system to know what’s going on. He’s talking about what he doesn’t know, I wonder if he knows the inmates have been without visitors for nine months. Don’t let him eat it, ignore it,» he said.