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El Salvador elections 2024: How can Salvadorans vote from the US

Any Salvadoran citizen who is in the United States can vote online for the 2024 Election until February 4

Election workers seal boxes with election forms ahead of the presidential elections in San Marcos, El Salvador, January 23, 2024
Election workers seal boxes with election forms ahead of the presidential elections in San Marcos, El Salvador, on January 23.JOSE CABEZAS (REUTERS)

El Salvador will have its next presidential election on February 4. On that day, citizens inside and outside of the Latin American country will also choose a vice president and the deputies of the Legislative Assembly. It is expected that current president Nayib Bukele will be re-elected, despite the fact that an extended presidency violates the country’s constitution.

Surveys predict that Bukele and his party, Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas), will dominate the presidential and legislative elections due to the president’s high popularity, changes in electoral rules, and a divided opposition unable to capitalize on public dissatisfaction over human rights violations and the economic crisis.

Despite the grim outlook, opposition parties hope to win the 21% of voters who are currently considering abstention or nullifying their votes. They also express distrust in the polls, citing concerns about expressing anti-Bukele sentiments in a climate of potential arbitrary arrests. The opposition also criticizes the lack of impartiality in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), raising objections to Bukele’s candidacy, which is constitutionally prohibited, and highlighting alleged abuses and violations by the ruling party during the electoral process.

While Salvadorans who live in the country are preparing to cast their vote on February 4, those who live in the United States can already vote with an online form. All that is needed is the citizen’s single identity card (or its acronym in Spanish, DUI) and a computer or phone with a camera.

How to vote in the El Salvador 2024 election from the U.S.

Overseas voters can cast their ballots until before the day of the election, which will take place on February 4, 2024, from 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. PT. Those who want to cast their ballot first have to enter El Salvador’s TSE website.

According to the National Registry of Natural Persons of El Salvador, approximately 739,925 Salvadorans have a DUI with an address abroad and are therefore eligible to cast their vote online.

Citizens can also cast their vote personally on February 4 in several locations throughout the U.S. Voters can see the complete list of voting centers in the TSE website. Valid El Salvador ID will be required to attend.

Nayib Bukele assumed the presidency of El Salvador in June 2019. Known for his charismatic and populist communication style, Bukele has utilized social media platforms to directly engage with the public. His presidency has been marked by an aggressive approach to tackling gang violence and crime, with the implementation of the “Territorial Control Plan,” which has divided the general public. While some agree that El Salvador has become a safer country, others highlight that this has come at the cost of human rights.

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