Each bureau consists of one chairman and two members. Bureaus are to be set up by local councils, under the supervision of District Electoral Commissions.
The Chairman and the members of each bureau are appointed by public draw of lots undertaken in every municipality among all persons appearing in the voters’ register for the bureau’s area, provided they can read and write and are under the age of seventy years. Those over sixty-five years may, however, request within seven days to be excused from duty.
The chairman must have a secondary teaching certificate or a certificate of second degree of professional training, or, failing those, a primary school leaving certificate or an equivalent one.
Chairmanship and membership are compulsory, but the persons appointed to this purpose may explain to the District Electoral Commission, with documentary support, the existence of justifiable reasons preventing them from performing those functions.
The same applies to the appointment of two replacements for the Bureau’s members.
No public authority may, except in case of flagrante delicto, arrest chairmen, members and controllers appointed by candidates at the time during which they are to perform their duties.
Chairmen have sole authority in the polling station to maintain order and ensure freedom of electors and observance of the law.
The Chairman’s main duties are:
- To check and ensure the exercise of the right to vote by the electors.
- To maintain order, safeguard the electors’ free and ensure observance of the law.
- To ensure full availability of ballot forms for all candidates.
- To resolve any complaints or petitions.
- To ensure free access to the polling station of persons entitled to enter the premises.
- To proceed to the counting of votes in the bureau premises and to cause the final minutes to be sent to the corresponding First Instance Court or Justice of the Peace.