Salvadorans Abroad Motivated to Vote for the First Time

The leadership of President Nayib Bukele has inspired thousands of Salvadorans to obtain their Unique Identification Document (DUI) and vote for the first time in the 2024 elections.

Many Salvadorans in the United States flocked to various consulates yesterday to secure their DUI, driven by the desire to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming February elections in El Salvador.

Yesterday marked the final day for this crucial process. Among those determined to participate in the upcoming electoral event is José Flores, who traveled three hours from Indiana to obtain his DUI and cast his first vote in 40 years. He was motivated by the current conditions in the country and the pride he now feels in being Salvadoran and representing his country beyond its borders. His daughter, Dina Flores, also obtained her DUI for the first time to vote in the upcoming elections.

“In 48 years, I had never voted. This is my first time, and the transformation of the country has been brought about by President Bukele, something we must support. My daughter is voting for the same reasons,” expressed Flores.

Like José, thousands of Salvadorans now feel included and recognize that their leader, Nayib Bukele, is at the forefront of the country’s transformation. President Bukele enjoys broad support among the Salvadoran community in the United States.

On the other hand, Julio Rivera, a Salvadoran and U.S. citizen, admitted that he had never voted in his entire life because he believed previous political parties (ARENA and FMLN) used voters to serve their interests.

“I have never voted in my life; I didn’t believe in it. But the first time I’ll cast my vote will be for President Bukele because I want him to continue for another five years. I haven’t even voted here in the United States,” he affirmed.

Yesterday, at midnight, the issuance of DUIs in the 28 consulates across the United States concluded, allowing Salvadorans to be part of the electoral roll, according to Vanessa Guevara, the Consul General of El Salvador in Chicago.

“Under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele and our Vice Minister Cindy Mariella Portal, providing consular services to our diaspora is a priority. I am very pleased and satisfied that we have helped our community obtain their DUI. We witness their joy as they prepare to vote in the 2024 elections,” stated the official.

The President of the Republic and candidate for Nuevas Ideas, Nayib Bukele, urged the diaspora on the eve of the closing of the overseas electoral roll to visit Salvadoran consulates around the world to obtain, renew, or modify their DUIs.

Fellow countrymen will be able to vote in the upcoming February elections, either through remote online voting or in-person electronic voting for the presidential and legislative elections. The Bukele administration, in collaboration with the National Registry of Natural Persons (RNPN) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, intensified its efforts worldwide to help the diaspora obtain their DUIs, thus enabling them to vote.

The workday, supported by 37 Salvadoran consulates around the world, included extended service hours, mobile outreach to Salvadoran communities, uninterrupted workdays, and the launch of a digital platform. The governments of ARENA and FMLN opposed the overseas Salvadoran community’s exercise of their democratic rights, never granting them the right to both vote and be elected.

The ARENA government of Antonio Saca talked about a rigorous analysis of diaspora voting, but it was limited and focused solely on the 2009 presidential election. A law allowed Salvadorans to return to their country with a valid DUI to vote in a designated polling station at the Jorge “Mágico” González Stadium in San Salvador.

The FMLN governments of Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sánchez Cerén also made little effort to facilitate diaspora voting, opting for postal voting in the 2019 presidential election, which remained cumbersome due to established requirements and the mechanism involved.