More than 44 400 Bulgarians have submitted requests online to vote abroad in the March 26 early parliamentary elections, the largest number from Turkey, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said after the deadline for applications passed at midnight on February 28.
There were more than 17 800 applications from Bulgarian citizens in Turkey, more than 4600 from the United Kingdom, about 2850 from Spain, 2610 from the United States and 2510 from Germany.
The number of applications from Turkey was far more than the 8983 in Bulgaria’s October 2014 parliamentary elections and the 8842 in Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections.
The CEC said that the final number of applications will be known after postal applications arrive and the Foreign Ministry passes on information about applications submitted at Bulgaria’s diplomatic and consular missions.
The number of polling stations abroad in the March 2017 parliamentary elections will be decided by March 4 at the latest, the CEC said.
According to amendments to Bulgaria’s electoral law approved in 2016, no more than 35 polling stations may be opened in a country outside the European Union.
The applications serve in the decision to open a polling station. A Bulgarian who has given notice of wanting to vote in a foreign country is not barred from returning to Bulgaria to cast a ballot.