Voting in Government Elections is Now Mandatory in Bulgaria

May 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News

elections 2013Bulgaria’s parliament paved the way for the introduction of compulsory voting in elections on Thursday, passing a draft bill to amend the electoral code at its first reading.

1. The last national election in 2014 saw the lowest turnout in 25 years, of about 48%

2. A big factor is popular disenchantment with what is seen as a corrupt and out-of-touch political elite that has failed to lift living standards

3. In 2013, voter frustration with rampant corruption and organized crime erupted into months of street protests

4. Concerns about corruption and the judiciary have also kept Bulgaria and northern neighbor Romania out of the EU’s borderless Schengen zone

5. European Union member Bulgaria has had five governments in less than three years

6. Presidential elections are due in October and elections for a new parliament in 2018

7. Voting will be mandatory done personally by voters

8. The bill passed on Thursday allows non-voters to be sanctioned, either by a citation or by having their social benefits withdrawn for three months

9. Under the new measures approved by parliament, those failing to cast ballots will be deleted from voting registers and will need to register again

10. Bulgarian citizens living abroad would be able to vote only in Bulgarian embassies i.e. London and Ireland for the U.K. and Washington, D.C. and Chicago in the United States, eliminating the greater majority living at other locations.