Vote 2010: Slovaks begin voting in parliamentary election at 7:00

The seventh democratic election for members of parliament in Slovakia since the fall of communism in 1989 has started. More than 5,900 polling stations opened across the country at 7:00 for the one-day vote. Polls will close at 22:00.

The seventh democratic election for members of parliament in Slovakia since the fall of communism in 1989 has started. More than 5,900 polling stations opened across the country at 7:00 for the one-day vote. Polls will close at 22:00.

First preliminary results of the vote will be available about an hour after the polling stations close on the website of the Slovak Statistics Office and will be updated as vote counts from regional precincts arrive. Relevant preliminary results covering data from over 95 percent of the precincts should be known early morning on Sunday between 2:00 and 3:00. The Slovak Spectator will be updating the election results on its webpage simultaneously with information coming from the Statistics Office.

According to the SITA newswire, there are 4,289,169 registered voters eligible to cast ballots in Saturday’s election but the turnout is expected to be low, with estimates around 50 percent. Another 565 voters with no permanent residence in Slovakia have already sent their ballots by post to a specialised precinct in Bratislava’s Petržalka district.

Slovak citizens with a permanent residence in Slovakia who are abroad on election day and made a request for a postal ballot are also taking part in the parliamentary election. According to information from Slovenská Pošta, interest in voting by mail was almost twofold of the 2006 number, when voting via mail was first made possible. Almost 6,900 Slovaks have asked for the opportunity to cast their vote by mail this year.

This election will be open to about 43,000 eighteen-year old, first-time voters. According to the Statistics Office, a total of about 315,000 people are first-time voters and will have the opportunity to help decide the composition of the next Slovak parliament, SITA reported.

Eighteen political parties are fielding 2,366 candidates for parliamentary seats in Saturday’s election.

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