Bulgaria’s November 2021 elections: Voting proceeding smoothly, CEC says

The voting process in Bulgaria’s November 14 “two in one” presidential and early parliamentary elections was going smoothly, although at 32 voting sections paper ballots were being used after voting machines malfunctioned, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said.

There are 12 990 voting sections in the country.

CEC spokesperson Rositsa Mateva told a late-morning news conference that the commission had received 32 complaints, seven of them about canvassing on social networks, a matter over which the CEC has no jurisdiction.

Caretaker Interior Minister Boiko Rashov said that there had been “isolated” cases of attempts to buy votes on election day.

An estimated 6.7 million Bulgarians in the country and abroad are eligible to vote in the November 14 elections, which for the first time in Bulgaria’s history are seeing a vote for a head of state and MPs being held simultaneously.

There are 23 presidential candidate tickets, while 5067 candidate MPs are competing for the 240 seats in Bulgaria’s unicameral Parliament, the National Assembly.

In the presidential election, if no candidate wins 50 per cent or more of the valid votes with at least 50 per cent voter turnout, a second round will be held on November 21 between the top two candidates from the first round.

Abroad, there are 751 polling stations in 68 countries. The largest number are in the United Kingdom, 129, followed by Turkey, 106, and Germany, 81.

Polls in Bulgaria close at 8pm, while electoral law allows officials to extend voting for those still in the queue at that time, but voting may not be extended beyond 9pm. Abroad, voting ends at 8pm local time. Publication of exit polls is allowed as soon as voting is declared over.

For further details about Bulgaria’s November 2021 elections, please see The Sofia Globe’s Election factfile.

(Screenshot from an official information video on how to use a voting machine)

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