After the local election: Voting to be done via machines, ballots to be scrapped

During the European Parliament vote 3,000 polling stations will utilise machines, while the number will grow to 6,000 during the local election

Following the local election set for the autumn of 2019, voting to be done exclusively via machines in all polling stations, excluding those listing under 300 voters, stations abroad and specialised ones (set up on ships and in hospitals and prisons as well as the portable ones). That is what the lawmakers of the Committee on Legal Affairs decided to ultimately propose during an emergency session.

The initial version had envisaged machines to be delivered to at least 1,000 polling stations for the upcoming European Parliament election on 26 May. The Committee approved a new proposal – for the ЕP election to allow machine voting in at least 3,000 polling stations, and the local election this autumn – in at least 6,000.  

It is explicitly stated that there will be no option for voting via a machine in polling stations listing under 300 voters, those abroad and those set up in hospitals, social care homes and ships. The texts were unanimously supported by GERB, United Patriots, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and Volya, while the representatives of the Bulgarian Socialist Party left and did not participate in the session.

At the sugestion of the MRF, another text was added. With it, the Committee on Legal Affairs proposes that after the 2019 local election voting be conducted only via machines in all polling stations. What this means is that voting with a traditional paper ballot will be almost entirely scrapped, remaining as an option only in polling stations abroad, small stations and specialised stations, where the opportunity to vote via a machine was not available before.  


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