Referendum Statistics of Bulgarian Voters Vary by 1 M
Several days before the January 27 referendum on nuclear energy in Bulgaria, the Civil Registry published the official number of people entitled to vote, which, however, clashes with data of the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
According to Bulgaria's Civil Registration and Administrative Services Department (GRAO), the total number of people included in the electoral roll for the upcoming referendum is 6 949 120.
A total of 16 197 have been taken off the electoral roll, of them 7315 serving prison terms, 7102 legally incapacitated, 1773 who filed applications to vote overseas (according to statistics of the Foreign Ministry) and 7 holders of certificates for voting elsewhere.
GRAO data, however, clashes with NSI statistics, according to reports of Sega daily.
According to NSI data, by September 30, 2012, Bulgaria's population aged 18-plus amounts to a total of 6 119 757.
By end-September 2012, women aged 18+ were 3 173 736, while men aged 18+ were 2946021.
According to the existing Election Code, the number of citizens entitled to vote is even smaller because not all Bulgarians aged 18+ are entitled to vote - they must also not be legally incapacitated or serving a prison term.
As a result, even after the names of the people who have been taken off the electoral roll are removed, Bulgaria's population must have grown by over 800 000 people in three months, or some other explanation has to be found for the huge discrepancy in the data of GRAO and NSI.
GRAO also announced Thursday that a total of 134 846 people entitled to vote died between the 2011 elections for President and Vice President and the upcoming January 27 referendum.
Meanwhile, a total of 101 620 people turned 18 between the 2011 elections the referendum.
At the 2011 elections in Bulgaria for President and Vice President, the number of people who filed applications for voting overseas, according to Foreign Ministry statistics, was 32 390, i.e. the number of people who wish to vote overseas at the January 27 referendum are 30 617 less.
During the period between the 2011 elections and the referendum, a total of 24 539 people were granted or restored Bulgarian citizenship.
One week ago, the Bulgaria for Citizens Movement sounded the alarm that the electoral roll contained 950 000 fake entries, while the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) claimed that municipalities with particularly poor demographics had grown by 2000-3000 people since the 2011 elections.
The Regional Development Ministry attributed the discrepancy between GRAO data and the 2011 population census to the fact that GRAO lists contained the names of people living abroad permanently but with an address registration in Bulgaria, while the census only included people living in Bulgaria.
On January 27, Bulgarians are to express their opinion on the question "Should Bulgaria develop nuclear energy through the construction of a new nuclear plant?"
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