Over 18 million Romanians are expected at the ballot boxes on Sunday in the parliamentary elections to cast their ballot for the election of the new members of the Deputies’ Chamber and Senate for the 2016-2020 legislature.
According to the data the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) supplied on 10 December, the total number of Romanian electors registered in the Electoral Roll, including the citizens who will turn 18 until 11 December 2016, stands at 18,881,604.
The total number of Romanian electors with the domicile or residence in Romania, valid on 10 December, is 18,263,876, and Romanians living abroad filed a number of 8,889 requests for voting by mail.
For the organisation of the elections, electoral constituencies were established on the level of the 41 counties, one constituency in the Municipality of Bucharest, and one for the Romanian citizens with the domicile or residence abroad. The total number of electoral constituencies is 43.
A number of 6,477 candidates entered the electoral race for the 11 December ballot, according to the Central Electoral Bureau, 4,251 candidates for the Deputies’ Chamber and 2,226 for the Senate.
Senators and deputies are elected on lists, according to the proportional representation principle. The representation norm for the election of the Deputies’ Chamber is of one deputy per 73,000 inhabitants, and for the Senate, one senator per 168,000 inhabitants.
The number of inhabitants taken into account is according to the population by domicile, reported by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on 1 January of the previous year of the elections on schedule.
Voting begins on Sunday at 7:00 and will end at 21:00. At 21:00, the president of the polling station’s electoral bureau declares the voting process concluded and orders the closing of the station. The persons who at 21:00 are inside the polling station voting room are allowed to exercise their right to vote.
Electors can only vote at the polling station which the street or locality of their domicile or residence is distributed to. In case electors are in a different administrative-territorial unit within the same electoral constituency, they can vote at any polling station within the electoral constituency where they have their domicile or residence.
Romanian citizens with the domicile in Romania, but who were registered in the Electoral Roll with the abroad residence address, can exercise the right to vote in the polling stations set-up abroad, based on an identity document, valid on the day of voting.
The Romanian citizens have the right to vote starting the age of 18, if they turned 18 until or on election day.
Mentally deficient or alienated persons, placed under interdiction, as well as persons who were forbidden by law to exercise their right to vote, on a period established by final court ruling, do not have the right to vote.
Each elector has the right to one vote for the election of the Senate and one vote for the election of the Deputies’ Chamber. Each elector must cast the vote in person, and the voting on behalf of another elector is forbidden, according to the electoral legislation.
Voting on additional electoral rolls is allowed for persons who can prove that they have the domicile or residence corresponding to the polling station in question, however they have been omitted from the permanent electoral roll; persons who have not filled in requests to register with the electoral roll with the residence address; persons who on the day of voting are in a different administrative-territorial unit than the one where they have the domicile or residence and who prove that they have the domicile or residence in the same electoral constituency as the polling station in question; members of the electoral bureaus of the polling stations, computer operators and persons tasked with order keeping or with checking the order keeping team, if they have the domicile or residence in the electoral constituency where the polling station in question is; candidates, if they run in the electoral constituency in question.
In case the elector doesn’t appear on the existing permanent electoral roll in the polling station in question, the information system for voter turnout monitoring and illegal voting prevention notifies if: the person who came to vote has turned 18 until or on the election day; the person who came to vote has lost his/her electoral rights; is distributed to another polling station; is omitted from the permanent electoral roll, has the domicile or residence in the area of the polling station in question and if he/she filled in a request to be registered in the electoral roll with the residence address; the person who came to vote has exercised the right to vote in the same ballot.
For the enfranchised citizens who cannot go to the polling station for reasons of illness or disablement, the polling station electoral bureau president can approve, at their written request, that a team made up by at least members of the electoral bureau go with a special ballot box and with the necessary material for voting to the place where the elector is.
In the case of citizens who cannot go to the polling station, the written requests can be sent through other persons or through the specialist staff with the medical units where they are hospitalised, according to case.
Accredited to conduct exit polls are the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy – IRES, and the consortium made up of the Centre of Urban and Regional Sociology – CURS and the Group of Social-Behavioural Studies AVANGARDE.
The public opinion will be informed on the voter turnout in real time, on the Central Electoral Bureau website, which will post for each polling station the number of electors registered in the information system for monitoring the turnout and preventing the illegal voting – SIMPV who turned out to vote.
After the voting ending, the Central Electoral Bureau will bring to the public’s knowledge, on the institution website, the partial results of the parliamentary elections, starting 24:00hrs on 11 December for all polling stations for which the data were sent to the BEC central server.
The partial results will be supplied daily starting 12 December until the final results are established, according to the following time table: 10:00 for the data valid at 8:00, 12:00 for the data valid at 10:00, 17:00 for the data valid at 15:00; 20:00 for the data valid at 18:00.
Novelty in parliamentary elections – vote counting to be video recorded in all polling stations
In the Sunday parliamentary elections the vote counting process will be video recorded for the first time and the voter turnout information system, implemented in the June local ballot, will be further used.
The Government adopted in October a resolution on the compulsoriness of the video recording of the vote counting process in the polling stations nationwide and abroad in the parliamentary elections.
The tables distributed to all polling stations will be used to video record the conduct of the vote counting process. The recordings will be made by tablet operators, and they are not aimed at building body of evidence in courts.
Interior Minister Dragos Tudorache explained at that date that on parliamentary election day the voting as such will not be video surveilled, between the opening and closing of the ballot boxes, but only the time in which the paper ballots are counted.
The video recordings will be kept for three months, and then destroyed, together with the stocking devices where they are stored, and will only be kept in case the Central Electoral Bureau or the law enforcement bodies request any of the recordings.
The information system on monitoring the voter turnout and avoiding multiple voting was used for the first time in the local elections in June. This system was implemented by the Permanent Electoral Authority together with the Special Telecommunications Service.
MAI mobilises 45,000 workers for election good conduct
The Interior Ministry (MAI) mobilises on parliamentary election day approximately 45,000 workers – policemen, gendarmes, firemen, border policemen and workers with other structures, to ensure the public order and the election process good conduct.
The Interior Ministry (MAI) staff will check all notifications concerning contraventions or offenses related to the voting process.
On the day of voting, starting at 8:00, periodical public communications will be made, referring to the MAI structures’ activities and the situation of electoral incidents.
The Romanian Gendarmerie ensures the protection of the Central Electoral Bureau, the County Electoral Bureaus, the Constituency Bureaus of the Capital’s Districts 1 – 6, as well as of 5,529 polling stations.
Out of the 45,000 MAI workers, over 10,000 will be gendarmes, and 13,000 – firemen.
In respect to their missions, according to Interior Minister Dragos Tudorache, 21,000 will act for the protection of the polling stations, 12,000 to ensure public order, and 11,000 will make up operative teams of specialists and reserves.
On election day, the activity of the polling station electoral bureau starts at 6:00, the president having the obligation to verify the ballot boxes, the paper ballots and the stamps. Voting will begin at 7:00 and will end at 21:00.
The surveillance of the manner in which the elections are conducted will be done not only with MAI staff on a county level, but also with personnel from the central office.
“By my order, in each county we have a team made up of workers with the Control Body and staff with the central structure of the Police General Inspectorate, working together with the chief inspectors in each county and with them I will ensure the command and supervision of all measures and actions conducted by the MAI structures over the next days. We want to eliminate any suspicion about impartiality, about the manner in which the decisions are made at local level, by the County Police Inspectorate,” the Interior Minister said a few days ago.
He also said that on a regional level – Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara and Bucharest – four teams of workers of the Interior Ministry’s Control Body have been set up, who will be solving the possible incidents exceeding the verification prerogatives of the county structures, or whenever necessary.
“We don’t leave next days’ tasks and responsibility to supervise the manner in which all necessary measures for ensuring the legality of the election process are implemented only at local level, but we’ll also do it with an increased supervision on behalf of the ministry,” Dragos Tudorache pointed out.
BEC: Voter turnout until 12:00 hrs stands at 12.47 percent
The nationwide voter turnout in the parliamentary elections on Sunday until 12:00 hours stood at 12.47 percent, according to the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) official website.
According to the BEC, in the Capital 12.55 percent of the electors have cast their vote.
The highest percentages were registered in the following counties: Teleorman – 17.42 percent, Olt – 16.77 percent, Dolj – 15.57 percent, Dambovita – 15.17 percent, Braila – 15.05 percent.
The lowest voter turnout was registered in the counties: Maramures – 8.16 percent, Bistrita – 8.17 percent, Timis – 9.37 percent, Satu Mare – 9.61 percent, Arad – 9.62 percent, Sibiu – 9.85 percent.
Until 12:00, in Capital’s district 1 a share of 13.99 percent of the total number of electors registered on the rolls have cast their ballot, in district 2 – 12.89 percent, in district 3 – 11.42 percent, in district 4 – 12.80 percent, in district 5 – 11.10 percent and in district 6 – 13.60 percent.
A share of 58.37 percent of the Romanians who went to vote until 12:00 cast their vote in the urban area, and in the rural area – 41.63 percent.
BEC: In the diaspora, almost 25,000 persons have voted until 12:00 hours
A number of 24,877 persons voted in the diaspora in the parliamentary elections on Sunday, until 12:00 hrs, according to the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) official website.
The Romanian citizens abroad have at their disposal 417 polling stations opened in over 90 countries.
Central Electoral Bureau: How the nationwide voter turnout evolved
19:00 hrs– 37.20 percent nationwide, 37.86 percent in Bucharest. A number of 89,817 persons voted in the diaspora in the Sunday parliamentary elections until 19.00 hrs, according to the website of the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).
18:00 hrs — 34.39 percent nationwide, 34.77 percent in Bucharest
17:00 hrs — 30,75 percent nationwide, 31.16 percent in Bucharest. A number of 72.998 persons voted in the diaspora in the Sunday parliamentary elections until 17.00 hrs
16:00 hrs — 27.07 percent nationwide, 27.74 percent in Bucharest
15:00 hrs — 23.67 percent nationwide, 24.53 percent in Bucharest
14:00 hrs — 20.23 percent nationwide, 21.06 percent in Bucharest
13:00 hrs–6.62 percent nationwide, 17.05 percent in Bucharest
12:00 hrs– 12.47 percent nationwide, 12.55 percent in Bucharest
10:00 hrs –5.27 percent nationwide, 4.72 percent in Bucharest
9:00 hrs– 2.58 percent nationwide, 2.14 percent in Bucharest