Minister of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlatean on Friday stated that the law doesn’t allow the setting up of new polling stations abroad or extending the voting hours, yet he specified that the number of voting booths and the number of voting stamps can and they will be increased.
Corlatean announced that he had a ‘private talk’ at the MAE headquarters with the ambassadors, the general consuls and the chairmen of polling stations in several European countries – Germany, UK, Austria, France, the Republic of Moldova – and also with ambassadors and general consuls in Spain and Italy.
Agerpres reports that he specified that MAE is going to put in place a series of measures, some of which were decided by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) and the Electoral Bureau for the polling stations abroad (BES), among which the simplification of the procedure related to the filling in the statutory declaration that is mandatory for all those who vote by making use of the supplementary lists.
According to Corlatean, a decision was made to upload the statutory declaration form on the websites of the BEC and MAE, so that the voters will have the possibility to download it in time. Moreover, the Minister said that the aforementioned document will also be available at the polling stations, as before.
Corlatean, who is supposed to vote abroad on November 16, most likely in London, added that the number of voting booths inside the polling stations and the number of voting stamps will increase ‘up to near the maximum, which is seven.’
‘The number of polling stations is for BES to decide, as it has always been, and not for MAE. However, what we can do, in terms of logistics, is to increase the number of booths and stamps in each station.’
He specified that the law doesn’t allow it to increase the number of polling stations through opening new ones.
He explained that a whole process is required before opening new polling stations, starting with the approval that needs to be obtained from the authorities of the state where the polling station is accredited, continuing with logistical matters, practical and security measures.
With 51 polling stations, Italy is the country with highest number of polling stations organized abroad
Italy is the country with the highest number of polling stations organized abroad by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) for the presidential elections; Spain, the United States and the Republic of Moldova follow.
MAE mentioned there are 51 polling stations in Italy, including three in Rome, two in Milan and two in Trieste. In Spain, Romanians can vote in 38 polling stations; four of them are in Madrid, two in Barcelona and two in Castellon de la Plana.
As many as 22 polling stations are open for Romanians in the United States. They are both on the east and west coasts, and also in the central area. The only American city with two polling stations is Chicago.
In the Republic of Moldova, MAE has organized 21 polling stations; four of them are in Chisinau.
In the United Kingdom, three of the 11 polling stations are in London. Cities like Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast or Birmingham each have one.
The nine polling stations in France are located in Paris (two), Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nancy, Brest and Lyon.
Germany and Australia each have five polling stations, respectively in Berlin, Hamburg, Bonn, Munich, Stuttgart, and in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth.
Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Canada each have four polling stations. Brussels has four, Istanbul and Budapest two each.
Afghanistan, China, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine host three stations each. Two of the polling stations of Afghanistan are in Kabul and one in Kandahar.
The countries with two polling stations for Romanians are South Africa, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Iraq, and Netherlands. Both of the polling stations in the Netherlands are located in The Hague.
MAE has also opened one polling station in each of the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Columbia, North Korea, South Korea, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Montenegro, Nigeria, Norway, New Zealand, Palestine, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, San Marino, Senegal, Singapore, Syria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.