Bulgaria prepares for general electionsEuropost , Sofia
Tomorrow, 5 March, is the official kick-off of Bulgaria's general election campaign, which will conclude on 2 April. The regular general elections are to be held on 4 April. Candidates representing 22 parties and eight coalitions will vie for voters' support.
The voting process will follow several mandatory mitigation measures in light of the pandemic - facemasks, observing distance of 1.5m (4ft), regular disinfecting and airing of the polling locations. Poll workers are prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination.
Mobile ballot boxes will go around and visit homes throughout Election Day to accommodate people in quarantine. Voters have to file their applications to be included on the list of stops no later than 1 April.
This is the first time ever that machines will be an option as a voting method, but they will only be made available at polling stations serving more than 300 voters. That means over 9,000 of a total of nearly 12,000 polling places in the country.
Bulgarians residing abroad will be able to cast their ballot at voting locations specifically set up for that purpose. The requirement for establishing a foreign polling station is a minimum of 60 statements of intention to vote filed by 9 March. For countries outside of the EU, there is a limit of 35 polling places, irrespective of the number of filed statements. As of 19 February, 69 of a total 131 countries around the world have given their permission for the establishment of polling locations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So far, Lichtenstein is the only country that has explicitly denied Bulgaria such a possibility. The Ministry does not anticipate more rejections. Bulgarians residing abroad can file their voting statements at their preferred polling station on Election Day.