More than 400 polling stations abroad in Bulgaria’s October elections
There are 414 polling stations abroad for Bulgaria’s October 5 early parliamentary elections and the number is likely to increase, caretaker Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said on September 9.
As is customary, the country with the largest number is Turkey, with 157 polling stations.
Bulgarian electoral law obliges the authorities to open a polling station where more than 40 eligible voters lodge a formal application for one, but only 20 voters are required if there is a Bulgarian diplomatic mission.
Further, if in the past five years more than 100 voters turned out to vote at a polling station abroad, it will automatically be re-opened.
The record number presents a challenge for Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, which has asked for staff from other ministries to be seconded to it to assist in the election process.
The effort also will take more than the 1.2 million leva budgeted for the elections abroad and a further 500 000 leva will be needed.
In Bulgaria’s May 2014 European Parliament elections, there were about 170 polling stations abroad. This cost 700 000 leva.
Meanwhile, on September 9 the deadline expired for Bulgarians abroad to apply to vote there.