Polls for referendum open

VOTERS in Slovakia will attend the eighth referendum in the history of independent Slovakia, focused on the protection of the traditional family. 

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

The polls opened at 7:00 and will close at 22:00.

The vote, costing more than €6.3 million, according to estimates, was initiated by the Alliance for Family (AZR) which collected more than 400,000 petition signatures to put the questions to voters, well over the 350,000 requirement to launch a nationwide referendum.

It will seek people’s answers to three questions. The first seeks to limit use of the word “marriage” only when referring to the union of a man and a woman, the second seeks to ban adoption for same-sex couples, and the third allows parents to opt their children out of school classes dealing with sex education or euthanasia.

In order to become effective, the turnout needs to surpass the required 50-percent quorum of eligible voters.

The first preliminary results will be published on the www.volbysr.sk website shortly after 22:00. The official results are expected to be published on February 8, after they are confirmed by the Central Election Committee.

Every Slovak citizen who reaches the age of 18 by the day of the referendum can cast their ballot. Voting is possible only on Slovakia’s territory. Those who will not be at the location of their permanent residence on the day of the referendum can ask for a so-called voting certificate which they will show to the election committee.

Also Slovak voters without permanent residency in Slovakia can attend the voting after bringing their passport. After the election committee checks its veracity, it will inscribe them into the voters’ list and also make a note in their passport.

There are 4,944 polls in 2,926 municipalities.

Though there is no moratorium banning the campaign, there are some limitations to the polls which cannot be published three days before the referendum and on the election day, until the polls are closed.

Of the seven referendums previously held in Slovakia, only the 2003 vote that paved the way for European Union entry managed to do so. If successful, the forthcoming referendum would be the first to pass after beginning as a citizen initiative.

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