Conditions have been created to facilitate the process of registration of the vote for parliament abroad, Rositsa Mateva, Deputy chair of the Central Election Commission (CEC) says. In an interview with Radio Bulgaria, she explained that to avoid waiting for hours on end on election day, the number of staff who will receive the tally sheets with the results from the polling stations around the world will be increased. As previously, the election papers will be received by the Central Election Commission which acts as a regional election commission for the votes cast abroad.
“Information services has budgeted for more people to staff the calculation points where the papers will be received. More staff will also be provided by the State Agency for National Security. We are doing our best so that the documents can be received and processed at maximum speed. It is critically important that the tally sheets be filled out properly,” Rositsa Mateva explained.
The final number of polling stations abroad is 737 located in 61 countries.
“Voters should know they can cast their vote wherever there is a polling station, whether they have submitted an application to vote outside the country or not. The same holds true for Bulgarian citizens who are not permanently residing outside the country but who will be abroad on election day. That is something that the members of the section election commissions should know as well,” Rositsa Mateva said.
The organization of the election abroad, by the CEC, is proceeding as normal, she added. The members of the section election commissions have been appointed. March 24 is the deadline for any substitutions, or for any vacancies to be filled by members put forward by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, usually Bulgarian citizens living locally. The Foreign Ministry is also responsible for the logistics, for renting the premises and for supplying the necessary materials.
Methodological guidelines have been approved for election day outside the country, adapted to the specifics of voting abroad, more specifically: there will be no preferential voting, the procedures involving the submission of election papers and materials, sending the results from the vote to the CEC, will be different etc. It is important to note that no voting with a drivers’ license will be allowed. Illiteracy does not constitute cause for voting with an assistant or attendant.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the obligation of sending them out to the members of the section commissions. The methodological guidelines lay out all actions, in great detail, including the registration of the results and the way the documents are sent when election day is over.”
The members of the section election commissions are advised to be calm and attentive in the process of registration and filling out the tally sheets after the end of election day so they can complete their job more quickly and successfully.
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