Covid-19 in Bulgaria: MPs approve use of mobile polling stations for people in quarantine

Bulgaria’s Parliament approved at second reading on January 28 amendments to the State of Emergency Act, which allow the use of mobile polling stations for people under quarantine to cast their ballots in the April 4 parliamentary election.

In order to be able to do so, the quarantined people would need to notify local authorities, which maintain voter lists, no later than three days before Election Day.

After a cross-check with the regional health inspectorate, their names would be removed from the main voter lists and added to the special lists drafted for mobile polling stations.

Given that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the identification documents renewal process, MPs approved a provision that would allow voters with expired ID to cast their ballots.

The amendments require the Health Minister, in agreement with the Chief State Health Inspector, to decree the anti-epidemic measures with regard to the voting process. The Central Election Commission would then decide the details of the voting process in line with the ministerial order.

During the weekly briefing by the national Covid-19 response staff on January 28, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said that the draft anti-epidemic measures for the voting process was ready and would next be discussed by an inter-departmental task force.

Angelov said that the measures would focus on protecting the health of election officials, who will be provided with the necessary personal protection equipment.

Asked about jabs for election officials, Angelov said that the current vaccine delivery projections made vaccination of election officials a “realistic” prospect and could start in late-February, allowing to finish the process before Election Day.

The amended law required the Cabinet to provide all necessary personal protection equipment for the voting process and include the cost in its election budget projection.

Any campaign events will have to comply with anti-epidemic restrictions decreed by the Health Ministry, according to the amended law.


For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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