Bulgaria’s June 2024 elections: Afternoon figures suggest reduced voter turnout

As of 4pm on Bulgaria’s June 9 2024 elections day, voter turnout in the early National Assembly elections was 20.44 per cent and in the country’s regular European Parliament elections 20.89 per cent, Central Electoral Commission (CEC) head Kamelia Neikova said at a 5pm briefing.

In Bulgaria’s previous early National Assembly elections, in April 2023, voter turnout was 27.27 per cent. By the end of voting, at 8pm, it rose to 40.69 per cent.

In Bulgaria’s previous European Parliament elections, at 5.30pm voter turnout was 16.22 per cent.

Bulgaria’s June 2024 parliamentary elections are the 16th democratic elections in the country since 1991, following the end of the communist regime. Of these 16 parliamentary elections, the June 2024 vote is the sixth in just more than three years. The European Parliament elections are regular ones, being held in the June 6 to 9 time frame for the 27 member states of the EU.

The June 9 election day saw, by the late afternoon, just a mere fraction of the large number of voting machines in Bulgaria and abroad malfunctioning.

Bulgarian election law gives voters a choice whether to use a voting machine or a paper ballot. In the event of a problem with a voting machine, the polling station goes over to solely using paper ballots.

In the course of the day, in spite of the law banning the release of exit polls before the 8pm end of voting, some Bulgarian-language media did so, either directly or via social networks.

The civic platform Ти броиш (“You Count”) said in a 4.30pm said that it had registered a number of violations of the Electoral Code during the votes for the National Assembly and the European Parliament.

It said that the most frequent problems related to campaigning in Turkish – which is unlawful because in Bulgaria’s electoral process, only the Bulgarian language may be used – and failure by officials to put an official stamp on ballot papers from machine voting.

Election day proceeded in sweltering early June weather. Many places in Bulgaria recorded temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius at 3pm, according to the weather bureau. These included Plovdiv, Rousse, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Kyustendil, Blagoevgrad and Kurdzhali, among several others.

At Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, the temperature in Varna was 27 degrees C at 3pm, and in Bourgas, 25 degrees. In Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, a temperature of 29 deg C was recorded at 3pm.

To read The Sofia Globe’s June 2024 Election Factfile, please click here.

(Photo: president.bg)

Please support The Sofia Globe’s independent journalism by becoming a subscriber to our page on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292