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Voting in Melbourne ends with low voter turnout

Bulgarian drives four hours from the state of Victoria to exercise his right to vote

Polling day in Melbourne proceeded normally, without any violations. However, voter turnout was significantly lower as compared to the elections in November, 2021, Mancho Manev, a member of the sectional election commission in Australia’s biggest city said in an interview for Radio Bulgaria. In April 2021, 134 Bulgarians cast their ballot in Melbourne. In November last year, 135 people went to the polling stations. Today, only 87 Bulgarians have exercised their right to vote.

“I do not have a clear answer why voter turnout is lower. The weather here is very nice and some people may have preferred to go for a walk on their day off. Others may have chosen not to drive, because Melbourne is a big city and sometimes it takes hours to travel the long distances. A Bulgarian living in the state of Victoria drove four hours to come here and exercise his right to vote. In other words, it is a matter of motivation”, Mancho Manev said.

Mancho Manev contends that Bulgarians in Melbourne have not expected another snap election. 

“People were in a very good mood during the previous elections. Our compatriots cast their ballots, hoping that there would be a government that would help Bulgaria overcome the current situation. I do not have a clear answer why this has not happened. The access to information is not difficult, but it is difficult to follow the news and the publications in Bulgaria when you live in another hemisphere and time difference is 6 to 8 hours. Life here is different. People are busy and do not take much time to read or inform themselves in a timely manner about the political situation in Bulgaria”, Mancho Manev said.

However, Bulgarians in Australia continue to love their home country and hope for a better future. Mancho Manev himself, who has been living in Australia for nine years, votes for a better country that would stop emigration and make people like him stay in Bulgaria. In his words, Bulgarians who cast their ballots in Australia today are hoping that Bulgaria will not head to another snap election in several months or in one year, because voter turnout will be even lower.

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

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