Pucherazo – What it is, definition and concept

The pucherazo is a type of electoral fraud, characterized by adding or removing ballots from the polls in which the fraud is carried out. It was a very popular practice in Spain during the Restoration.

The pucherazo, as a method of electoral fraud, is a thing of the past.

It is a method by which ballots of the candidate we want to win the election are added to the ballot box. Or, on the contrary, ballots can be removed from the one we want to lose.

It was carried out at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, during the so-called Bourbon Restoration, a period characterized by the turnismo between liberals and conservatives.

In this context, and to ensure a peaceful alternation of power, this type of electoral fraud was carried out.

Origin of the term «pucherazo»

Pucherazo is a term that, a priori, may seem peculiar and even funny.

How can it be that this characteristic name constitutes a type of electoral fraud?

During the turnismo implanted in the Restoration, as we mentioned earlier, power was shared between the two majority parties through electoral fraud. The fact that it was called “pucherazo” is because the name comes from puchero, which is the container in which the fraudulent ballots were kept.

Although it is a concrete practice, in recent times the term pucherazo has been used as a synonym for electoral fraud.

Punch execution

This practice, as we have mentioned, was carried out in Spain from the end of the 19th century, until the beginning of the dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera. His execution was carried out in rural areas through the caciques. These were people with a certain relevance in the town, generally landowners who, thanks to their wealth, had a great influence in the area.

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Regarding his execution, a large number of illegal votes were previously prepared for the party that wanted him to win, in the so-called pot. Later, if the official vote count was unfavorable, these votes were added to the official ballot box and all of them were counted as official. Obviously, this count had to grant a clear majority to the party that had to govern after those elections.

There were also other practices such as casting the vote of deceased persons, registering voters who did not correspond to the municipality in the census, or establishing ballot boxes in places with difficult access.

These practices were no secret, as they were known to exist. But they were still being done because they were necessary for political stability.

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