What Should One Know about Bulgaria's Referendum on Remote Electronic Voting?

Politics » DOMESTIC | October 25, 2015, Sunday // 15:45
Bulgaria: What Should One Know about Bulgaria's Referendum on Remote Electronic Voting? The ballot paper used for voting in the referendum on remote electronic voting. Photo: BGNES

Simultaneously with the local elections taking place on Sunday, Bulgarians are also voting in a referendum on the introduction of remote electronic voting.

The referendum was initiated by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliv and initially was foreseen to feature three questions on the introduction of compulsory voting, majority voting and remote electronic voting.

However in July the parliament rejected two of the questions and left only the one on electronic voting.

A total of thirty parties, one coalition and three initiative committees took part in the information campaign of the referendum, with 24 of the parties, the coalition and the three of the committees promoting the “yes” campaign.

This is the second attempt of Plevneliev to initiate a referendum on amendments to the election rules after his initial proposal last year had failed.

Back in 2014, a petition had gathered more than half a million signatures of citizens in favour of holding a referendum on amendments to the election rules.

However some of the signatures were declared invalid by the previous parliament and the legislature used this as a justification to reject the holding of such a referendum.

For the first time Bulgarians residing abroad are eligible to vote in the referendum after earlier this year the parliament had approved amendments allowing for expats to vote.

A total of 6 885 893 Bulgarians are eligible to vote in the referendum and they will be able to cast ballot in 12 314 polling stations in Bulgaria and another 294 stations abroad located in 45 countries.

In order for the outcome of the referendum to become compulsory, more than three and a half million people should have cast a ballot and more than half of them should have voted with “yes”.

In case the number of people who have voted in the referendum is less than three and a half mullion, but their number exceeds 20 % of eligible voters and more than half of them have voted with “yes” the proposal will be tabled to parliament.

The legislature will then have a period of three months to review the proposal and deliver a decision.

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Tags: local elections, Referendum, Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, electronic voting, compulsory voting, majority voting
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