Referendum 2010: Slovaks begin voting in referendum at 7:00

The seventh referendum since the fall of communism in 1989 has started. Voting is only possible in-country where 5,060 polling stations are open from 7:00 to 22:00 on Saturday.

The seventh referendum since the fall of communism in 1989 has started. Voting is only possible in-country where 5,060 polling stations are open from 7:00 to 22:00 on Saturday.

For the referendum to be valid, more than half of all eligible voters must vote in the referendum. Political observers do not expect the referendum to meet this mark but no official turnout estimates have been made.

The results of this referendum should be known a few hours after the polling stations close at 22:00.

The Statistics Office has said it would release unofficial results in the early morning hours of September 19, about three hours after the polls close.

The only poll to gauge attendance suggests that only around 20 percent of voters will bother to cast a ballot.

The first three questions voters will consider are whether parliament should cancel mandatory monthly payments that support Slovakia’s public-service media, limit the immunity from prosecution that members of parliament enjoy, and reduce the number of seats in parliament from 150 to 100 from the next election term onwards. The remaining three issues deal with restricting government offices from purchasing cars worth more than €40,000, permitting internet voting in future elections, and excluding persons elected to public office from the right to reply granted under Slovakia’s amended Press Code.

The organisation of the referendum falls under the authority of the Interior Ministry which has been allocated almost €6 million from the state budget to cover the costs of voting. Slovakia’s Statistics Office, responsible for counting of the votes, will get an additional €1.26 million. Altogether the referendum will cost around €7,224,000.

The Statistics Office will be releasing results at www.statistics.sk as well as www.volbysr.sk.


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