THOUSANDS of Slovaks living abroad have less than two weeks to take action if they want to vote in the March parliamentary elections. Slovaks living abroad must submit a request to the municipal office in their town of permanent residence or, if they have no Slovak address, to Bratislava’s Petržalka district office by January 20 if they want a ballot for the March 10 election, the Sme daily reported.
It has been estimated that around 400,000 of two million Slovaks living abroad have maintained their Slovak citizenship but in the past two elections very few of them voted. In the 2010 parliamentary elections only 0.22 percent of those living abroad and eligible to vote actually did so.
Vladimír Skalský, the chairman of the World Association of Slovaks Living Abroad (SZSZ), told Sme that Slovaks are restricted from participating in the elections by bureaucratic procedures and the necessity to send their request to vote 50 days before the election. “At that time there is not much information about the elections and many people miss this deadline,” he told Sme.