The allegation that Mayor of Turre Arturo Grima was spotted in Mojácar’s post office posting 80 postal votes is the subject of an investigation by the electoral board.
The PSOE received a tipoff from a worker in the post office that Grima had been spotted handing the postal votes over the counter and promptly filed a complaint with the local election board (JEZ). The post office worker also filed a complaint with his superiors, in accordance with Correos internal rules, to ensure that CCTV was kept. Both the PSOE and SOMOS TURRE requested that all postal votes and envelopes be kept as evidence after the election, and in theory (no-one seems sure) they should now be at the Guardia Civil station awaiting instructions.
The electoral board have now told the PSOE that they have accepted the complaint and are collecting all evidence. If the allegation appears to be supported it will be passed to the Public Prosecutor who is in charge of filing a criminal charge against the Mayor. It’s not necessarily illegal to post 80 postal votes, but it is motive for an investigation, and if they’re all found to be written with the same pen that’s sufficient for charges to be pressed. There is also the question of how Grima got hold of 80 postal votes, and he’ll probably have to bring forward supporting witnesses who will say they gave them to him of their own free will. It’s a legal grey area.
Grima has admitted on the radio that he posted the votes, and defended his actions as “noble”, as he was only helping “elderly and infirm supporters who couldn’t get to the post office themselves”. (editorial: bollocks!). He added that he only wished that instead of 80 it had been 800.
If found guilty, the sentence could be a hefty fine and a jail sentence for those involved. If only one postal vote is found to be fraudulent, Grima is likely to be barred from holding public office (again!).
Meanwhile, Mayor Grima continues to sweat in his office as discussions for a coalition to oust him between the opposition PSOE and Somos Turre parties continue. He is currently ruling from a minority government (he has 5 of the necessary 6 councillors to rule). The opposition have until Monday week to offer an alternative government, otherwise Grima will be returned as a minority Mayor.
Meanwhile, the JEZ has completed its investigation into PP vote rigging in Almería city and has recommended to the Public Prosecutor that charges of postal fraud be investigated.