Bulgaria’s caretaker PM: All voting machines needed for July elections now available

All the voting machines needed for the July 11 early parliamentary elections are now available, Bulgaria’s caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev told a Cabinet meeting on June 30.

An additional 1637 voting machines arrived in Bulgaria on Tuesday night, Yanev said.

Amendments to the Electoral Code approved by the short-lived 45th National Assembly earlier in 2021 require that at all polling stations where more than 300 voters are registered, voting must be done using machines. This necessitated the purchase of more machines in addition to the 9600 acquired for Bulgaria’s regular parliamentary elections on April 4.

According to the Central Election Commission, there will be machine voting at 9401 polling stations, and at about 700 polling stations, two machines will be available.

Abroad, there will be 421 voting machines at 273 polling stations.

On July 11, there will be 7.4 million paper ballots available.

By law, each polling station must have the same number of paper ballots available as the number of voters registered there. Paper ballots will be used if voting machines break down.

The additional devices were purchased by public procurement from the manufacturer Smartmatic through state-owned IT firm Informatsionno Obsluzhvane, Central Election Commission spokesperson Rositsa Mateva said, according to a report by Bulgarian National Radio.

Mateva issued a reminder that Bulgarians voting abroad would, by law, not be able to exercise a preferential vote.

(Screenshot from Bulgarian National Television)

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