Bulgaria’s October 2022 elections: Voting proceeding smoothly, CEC says

The voting process in Bulgaria’s October 2 early parliamentary elections was going smoothly, although 15 voting machines malfunctioned and paper ballots were being used in those voting sections, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said.

There are 12 934 voting sections in use on election day, including 775 outside the country, CEC spokesperson Rositsa Mateva told a late-morning news conference.

Ballot papers were being used in 3264 voting sections, including 454 outside Bulgaria.

Mateva said that CEC had received 10 complaints, including two on campaigning – which is banned on election day – and exit polls being conducted within voting stations.

She said that voting was under way in all voting stations in Bulgaria despite some precincts opening later than scheduled.

On its website, CEC indicated that turnout was 8.9 per cent inside Bulgaria as of 11am. This was slightly higher than the 8.6 per cent recorded at the same point on election day in the early parliamentary elections and first round of presidential elections held on November 14 2021.

An estimated 6.7 million Bulgarians in the country and abroad are eligible to vote in the October 2 election, in which more than 6700 candidates were vying for one of the 240 seats in Bulgaria’s 48th National Assembly..

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 October 2022 elections, please see The Sofia Globe’s Election factfile.

(Screengrab of voting machine used in Bulgarian elections, with the CEC logo in the background, from Bulgarian National Television.)

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