OPPOSITION Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MPs Lucia Nicholsonová and Martin Poliačik want to amend the new election code to allow Slovaks living abroad to vote in parliamentary, presidential and European Parliament elections. They also suggest introducing the requirement to inform electoral commissions in advance when an illiterate person wants to cast a ballot with an assistant, the TASR newswire reported on April 7.
Both Nicholsonová and Poliačik attended the elections in Jarovnice, Prešov Region, which is the village with the largest Roma settlement in Slovakia, where they sat in the electoral commission.
“We have seen some extreme cases, with illiterate people coming to the polling stations to vote, while they were not even able to read the ballot,” Nicholsonová said, as quoted by TASR, adding that a number of these voters announced the fact to the commission after they had already been behind the curtain in the polling booth with their assistants.
She also said that the personnel of senior houses frequently cast ballots on behalf of paralysed residents, noting that this procedure is illegal.
SaS wants to make sure that cases where voters need assistance due to illiteracy or poor health are reported to the relevant local electoral commission immediately after arriving at the polling station, at the latest.
As for voting from abroad, this may be carried out via the post or by voting at Slovak representation offices. Poliačik estimates that around 300,000 Slovaks are living abroad.
“Through extending the possibilities for voting, the credibility and mandate of the elected representative will increase,” Poliačik said, as quoted by TASR.
Nicholsonová added that the party’s long-term goal is to introduce internet voting, which has figured prominently in their election campaigns, but currently does not have enough political support, TASR reported.
The new election legislation will be discussed in the upcoming May parliamentary session.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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8. Apr 2014 at 14:00