El Salvador's plan for voting from outside the country
El Salvador's Legislative Assembly passed a law for the upcoming election of president and the national congress which will allow Salvadorans living outside the country to cast their vote from home over the internet. At least some of them will be able to. I'll explain.
The system of voting from outside the country depends on the type of identity document a Salvadoran holds, whether it is a national identity card (DUI) or a passport. It does not matter whether the document has expired or not. The residence address shown on the DUI is also relevant.
For those Salvadorans who have a DUI showing an address outside of the country, they are able to go to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal website anytime between January 6 and February 4 and cast their vote using any web browser. It is possible to get an updated DUI with a foreign residential address by applying at a consulate outside of the country up through November 5, 2023.
For those Salvadorans with only a passport, or those who live outside the country and only have an old DUI with an address inside El Salvador, they will need to go to a local consulate to cast their vote on Election Day, February 4, 2024.
Everyone's vote for president is counted the same. Salvadorans who vote by internet with a DUI with a foreign address, or who vote with a passport, will vote for legislative deputies for the department of San Salvador, regardless of where they may have lived before leaving the country. Salvadorans who vote with a DUI with an address still in El Salvador, will vote for legislative deputies from the department where that address is located.
Here is a chart summarizing these possibilities:
A member of the TSE said last month that some 674,000 Salvadorans are estimated to have DUIs to allow them to vote over the Internet and another 200,000 are estimated to need to go to a consulate or other voting location in order to cast a ballot.
The 2024 election will be the first election under these rules and the first to allow internet voting from your home. The security and integrity of the process for internet voting has never been tested to this point. No pilot projects have been run. Much could go wrong.