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Record-high voter turnout reported in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia
Photo: EPA/BGNES-archive

A record-high voter turnout was registered at the sectional election commissions in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. This was announced by Yavor Konstantinov who is a member of the sectional election commission in Melbourne. Yavor has been volunteering at elections since 2013. By 19.00 pm local time, one hour before the end of election day in Melbourne, 135 voters cast their ballots at this polling station, whereas a total of 134 people voted there at the July 11 early snap election. In Yavor Konstantinov’s words, voter turnout in Sydney is higher than the one in April and is close to the record-high turnout registered on July 11, when 132 Bulgarians cast their ballots. According to the latest population census in Melbourne, which took place some five years ago, more than 1,000 people identified themselves as Bulgarians. However, according to Yavor, who has lived in Australia for two decades, the number of Bulgarians living in Australia now is much higher. The thing that unites most Bulgarian voters in Australia is the desire for change.

 “We have witnessed a great desire for change. We are asking ourselves one question: Why the political forces in Bulgaria are unable to form a regular cabinet. Bulgarians in Australia believe that it is high time the parties formed a government. That is why they are voting again hoping to see tangible results. Bulgarians in Australia vote for a change and usually much more than 50% of the votes are cast for parties which offer changes in their political programmes.”

Polling station in Melbourne. Photo: Facebook/Yavor Konstantinov

Last night it became clear that the polling station in Auckland, which is the second-biggest in New Zealand, did not receive the permission to open, because of the deteriorated epidemic situation in this city. In Yavor’s words, this was extremely disappointing for him and his colleagues.

 “For the first time ever, election volunteers working in polling stations in Sydney and Melbourne were required to be fully vaccinated and to present a vaccine certificate.”

No machine voting has taken place in Australia and New Zealand, because all sectional election commissions consist of less than 300 voters. In Yavor Konstantinov’s words, the idea of electronic voting is wonderful and Bulgarians in Australia would easily accept it. However, it must be done in a proper manner, Yavor contends.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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