The over 18,000 polling stations organised nationwide for the European elections and a referendum convened by President Klaus Iohannis opened on Sunday at 07.00hrs, EEST.
Almost 19,000,000 voters are expected to vote, with the election process running until 21:00hrs, EEST.
For the two polls, 18,730 polling stations 18,730 polling stations have been set up in Romania, while the Romanian nationals abroad will be able to vote at 441 stations.
In Bucharest, there are 1,269 polling stations: 166 in District 1; 202 in District 2; 287 in District 3; 183 in District 4; 197 in District 5, and 234 in District 6..
The voters will receive three ballot papers – one for the European elections and two for the referendum. The insertion of a ballot paper in a ballot box other than the intended one does not invalidate it. They cast their ballots at the same polling stations, at the same time, between 07:00hrs and 21:00hrs, with the same stamps reading “VOTAT” (VOTED) on separate papers – one for the European elections and one for each question in the referendum..
At each polling station, three ballot boxes have been set up, one for each ballot.
The voters may vote in one election or both. They have to produce an identity card to the computer operator and specify in what referendum they want to vote.
Romanian citizens aged 18 and up on election day have the right to elect members from Romania to the European Parliament.
Voters who on election day are in their domicile or residence area will vote at the polling stations to which they are assigned. Those who are in a different location on election day (small town, city, municipality) than their own will have the right to vote at any polling station and will be registered on an additional electoral list
Allowed to vote in the election to the European Parliament held in Romania are also the European Community citizens who have been entered on special lists. They may not vote in the referendum.
Romanian citizens with as domicile in Romania can vote at the polling stations by producing an identity cards, electronic identity card, temporary identity card, old-type identity document, diplomatic passport, electronic passport, passports, electronic service passports or military ID card, in the case of military school students, as the case may be.
Persons remanded in custody who have not lost their electoral rights may also vote using the special ballot box.
The use of the special ballot box is also extended to voters who cannot travel due to illness or disability.
Thousands of Romanians vote in diaspora in elections to EP and national referendum
More than 32,000 Romanians in the diaspora voted by 10.00 am Romania’s time, in the elections to the European Parliament and the national referendum called by the Romanian President, according to data provided by the Central Electoral Bureau.
Abroad, the vote started in New Zealand on Saturday 10.00 pm, Romania’s time, while on Sunday, at 10.00 am, Romania’s time, there are tens of countries with polling stations open.
The vote in the 441 polling stations abroad will take 33 hours to compete, between May 25 10.00 pm -May 27 7.00 am (Romania’s time), when polling stations will close on the Western coast of the United States of America (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland) and Vancouver (Canada), informs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website.
Romanians and community electors who are abroad in the day of the vote can cast their vote in both polls at any of the polling stations, between 7 am – 9 pm (local time). Electors who are inside the polling station at the hour when they are supposed to close will still be allowed to exercise their right to vote.
The polling stations opened outside the country borders are for Romanian citizens who have their domicile or residence abroad. Moreover, in these polling station they can also vote the citizens from other European Union member states who registered with the special lists to vote for the Romanian members in the European Parliament.
Voters abroad need to show their diplomatic passport, electronic diplomatic passport, working permit, electronic working permit, simple passport, electronic simple passport, temporary simple passport, identity card, temporary identity card, electronic identity card, identity bulletin.
They cannot vote with their travel title and there are no voter cards.
The list of the polling stations abroad and their addresses can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Website: http://www.mae.ro/node/48090.
In order for all the Romanian citizens abroad to enjoy best voting conditions, in both the elections to the EP and referendum, the authorities sent 4,000,500 ballots in the 441 polling stations, for both the European elections and the national referendum.
President Iohannis: This is an important day, come to vote!
President Klaus Iohannis said May 26 is an important day and urged Romanians to vote.
“This is an important day and I am not telling this just to you, journalists, but all Romanians: Come to vote!”, he told the journalists, before casting his own ballot.
Upon his exit from the polling station at the “Jean Monnet” High School in Bucharest, where he voted, Iohannis urged Romanians again to show up at the polling stations.
“Come to vote, my dear Romanians! Come to vote today, when the power is all yours. Today, we decide together how Romania will look tomorrow. It does count, your vote really counts! Today, my dear Romanians, you make a decision for the following months, for the following years. These are the first elections from a longer cycle. This is the beginning of a new series of elections and today you can start to change Romania. I voted. In the electoral campaign I discovered that we had more vote mobilization initiatives than we ever had before. This makes me very happy and I want to thank all those who initiated such mobilization campaigns, be them simple citizens, companies and NGOs. Do come, dear Romanians, to vote! Don’t let others decide for you,” he said.
When he reached to the polling station, several persons were waiting in line to exercise their right to vote, and the head of the state also waited in line, after greeting the members of the polling station’s committee.
“I am glad to be here with you,” he told those waiting in line.
PM Dancila: I voted for Romania and Romanians; I didn’t vote in referendum, because Iohannis politicised it
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated on Sunday, at the “Jean Monet” High School in Bucharest, that she voted for Romania and Romanians, for a team to represent our country in the European Parliament, not one that stands against Romania, mentioning that she made the decision not to vote in the referendum after seeing that President Klaus Iohannis “politicised” this voting through his statements.
“I voted for Romania and for Romanians, I voted for our representation in the European Parliament, a representation of some people who don’t go there to answer, but to support, through arguments, Romania’s standpoint. I voted for a team that can represent Romania in the true meaning of the word, not one to stand against Romania in the European legislation, in the amendments that it [the team] files should also be found Romania’s priorities. I believe in Romania, I believe in Romanians and I believe that a worthy representation is what Romanians want. Today, I voted for a strong Romania, a powerful member state will lead to a strong European Union,” Viorica Dancila stated.
The PM added that she didn’t vote in the referendum and accused President Iohannis of politicising this voting through his statements.
“Today, I only voted in the European elections. I said I will vote in the referendum and, being a person of balance, I believed that I have to take into account all the arguments and vote in the referendum. I’ve seen the last public interventions of Mr President Iohannis and this thing made me change my mind. When you condition the elections by a better Government, be it for a referendum or for the elections to the European Parliament, but more for the referendum, I cannot vote against my own Government. So I think he politicised this, I think it should have left the referendum without linking it to certain electoral issues, political aspects or presidential elections,” Dancila also stated.
PNL’s Orban calls vote citizen’s weapon, expects ballot outcome to be surprising
National chairman of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban said on Sunday that the vote is the “strongest weapon” available to every citizen, adding that the result of the poll will be surprising and clearly indicating that “things have fundamentally changed” in Romania.
“I am convinced that today will be a victory of the Romanians, a victory of the Romanians of good faith, well-educated Romanians, of the Romanians with common sense who earn their living honestly, of the Romanians who really want the best for Romania. This victory of the Romanians will, in my view, mean that those who are at rule today will no longer have any legitimacy to keep power. (…) I am convinced that the result of the poll will be a surprise to everyone and clearly indicated that things have changed fundamentally in Romania and that citizens no longer want what has happened in the last two years to happen again in Romania,” Orban said after voting at a section in Dobroesti, Ilfov County.
Orban underscored that the “true holders of the public power” in Romania are the citizens, and the exercise of this power is done by voting.
“The vote is the strongest weapon available to every Romanian citizen. I am convinced that the Romanians have understood that;, I am convinced that the Romanians will not let themselves be manipulated, will not be intimidated, and will exercise their right to vote, both in the referendum and in the elections to the European Parliament. I am convinced that the referendum will pass, that the presence quorum will be met and that people will express their will in this referendum, because I am convinced that the overwhelming majority of Romanian citizens want the Romanian leadership to be honest, fair people, and also want anyone committing corruption crimes to be punished, and the leadership to be unable to find solutions to get rid of punishment by adopting ordinances or laws,” he said.
Orban mentioned that he exercised his constitutional right to vote both in the referendum convened by the President of Romania and in the elections to the European Parliament.
ALDE’s Tariceanu: It is in the Romanians’ interest to have people able to represent them in EP
National chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, said Sunday after voting that it is in the Romanians’ interest to have people able to represent them in the European Parliament.
“I think it is in our interest to have people who are able to represent us with a long political experience, because there is a place where conflicts and struggles between the parliamentary groups break in favor of the best, of those who know how to fight (…) I see that there is a large turnout and I am glad to say that it is interesting for these elections to the European Parliament, which have an important role and will have an even more important role as everybody understands that the decisions made in the European fora affect our lives, the lives of Romanians, every day,” said Tariceanu.
In his opinion, any vote is “an exercise” for the future elections, and the parties can now test their ability to mobilise and attract voters.
Tariceanu said he did not vote in the referendum.
“I did not vote in the referendum, because in order to measure the popularity of the president, there are much simpler and less costly ways that we can use. We do not have to hold a plebiscite for that,” said Tariceanu.
Tariceanu and his wife voted at a polling station at the School Sports Club no. 5 in Bucharest.
Dan Barna: Come to vote, we have great trust in Romania!
Save Romania Union (USR) Deputy Dan Barna on Sunday urged electors to go to vote, saying he has great trust in Romania.
“I voted for competence and honesty in Europe. This is a moment when Romanians can say their opinion, whichever their opinion might be, they can express it now, which is why my message is very clear and explicit: come to vote. (…) The more you are, the more today’s Romania, Romania as it is now, will be able to voice its opinion and it will be acknowledged. Come to vote, we have great trust in Romania!” stated Dan Barna, upon his exit from the polling station.
He said Romanians in the Diaspora are sending “a very good message” by showing up at the polling stations.
“Related to the Diaspora, I already saw the pictures, I saw the images in Munich and that hundreds of metres long line, on several rows. This is a very good message they are sending, in my opinion, for they are showing us that Romanians, wherever they are at this point, still want to get involved in the decision regarding the future of our country. (…) The fact that Romanians in the Diaspora go to vote, the fact that the Romanians in the Diaspora call home and send their relatives to vote shows that we are starting to care,” said the USR leader.
Electors who showed up at the polling station in Sibiu, where Dan Barna went to vote, also waited in a line.
Dan Barna voted in Sibiu alongside the USR candidate for the European Parliament elections, Nicolae Stefanuta.
UDMR’s Kelemen says he votes for strong European Union to listen to ethnic Hungarians’ voice
National leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Kelemen Hunor said on Sunday that he had voted for a strong European Union where the voice of the Hungarian community would be heard, and recommended urged citizens to go out and vote.
“I voted for a strong European Union, where the voice of the Hungarian community will be heard. We need a strong representation, and that is why today I voted for a strong presence in the European Parliament. I voted likewise in the referendum, and as promised, as I announced from the very beginning, I am urging all enfranchised citizens to go to the ballot box, go out and vote, because today is the day when we cannot be tired or disappointed, in any way, we have to turn out and vote. So I am urging everyone to go out and vote in the European elections today,” said Kelemen.
Kelemen cast his ballot at the polling station set up at the Town Hall of Carta, his hometown.
Basescu: The ballot is very important for both EU and rule of law in Romania
The ballot on Sunday is very important for both the state of affairs in the European Union and for Romania, given the referendum in which Romanians are called to vote whether they want rule of law or not, People’s Movement Party (PMP) honorary chairman Traian Basescu stated.
“This is a very important ballot for the state of affairs in the European Union, for we must create a new beginning for the European Union. On the other hand, for Romania, we have this referendum called by the President, in which Romanians are invited to say if they want rule of law or not. In fact, this is the actual message of the questions, of the two questions, and we must answer them very clearly and give a positive answer to the two questions, by turning out to vote, of course,” said Basescu, after he voted at the “Jean Monnet” High School in the Capital City.
When asked if Romania had rule of law in the past years, the PMP honorary leader specified: “Anyway, it has been better than it was before 2004, but we definitely need a correction.”
“Very many rejected the idea that after 10 years when we had laws that showed positive aspects, but also negative ones, after 10 years when we saw very good people working in the law enforcement institutions, and not so good people, after these 10 years, we need some modifications, and some modifications have already been done, but we definitely still need others. Especially in what concerns the implementation of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and EU directives, such as that referring to the extended confiscation and the other one referring to the strengthening of the benefit of the doubt,” stated Basescu.
Asked if he had expected to be forced to wait in line for approximately 10 minutes before casting his vote, he said: “I hadn’t expected so many people, it’s a very good sign that the polling station at “Jean Monnet” is crowded, for usually there are much less people here.”
Traian Basescu came to vote accompanied by his wife, Maria Basescu.
Former PM Ciolos votes, says poll to be warning to country’s leadership
National leader of PLUS, former PM Dacian Ciolos said in Zalau on Sunday that the vote in the ongoing European elections will be a warning to those who are in charge of Romania today and will have much greater effect than electing members to the European Parliament.
“I am convinced that very many Romanians have been waiting for this day since the winter of 2017, when we were in the streets, many of Romanians angry that they had not voted when vote was due in 2016. Now, the day has come when we can send our message very loud and clear, and much more efficient than by taking to the streets, namely by voting; I hope that there are as many Romanians as possible to make the decision today. (…) Now, many Romanians know exactly why to vote in the European elections and also in the referendum. I am convinced that this vote will have a much greater effect than sending 32 Romanians to the European Parliament. It will be a warning vote to those who are leading Romania today. It is important for us to take this step today,” Ciolos said upon leaving the polling station.
He added that he chose to vote in the northwestern city of Zalau because he has a domicile there and feels connected to those places.
“I voted in Zalau because I have voted here ever since I had the right to vote. My domicile is here. These are the places I feel bound to and I wanted to do my duty as a citizen here, the place where I was born. Anyway, it is important that we vote,” said Ciolos.
European Commissioner Corina Cretu: I voted for a new beginning
European Commissioner Corina Cretu, who runs in the elections to the European Parliament on the Pro Romania list, on Sunday stated, upon her exit from the polling station, that she voted while hoping for a new beginning.
“I voted hoping in a new beginning. I am glad to be part of the Cluj-Napoca organisation. I came here to vote (…) for a better future for Romania, so that we can strengthen our prestige and respect in the European Union,” said the European Commissioner.
Asked if she also voted in the referendum, Corina Cretu said “it’s the normal thing to do.”
“The ballots for the referendum are only meant to force the Romanian state apply certain laws that already exist,” she said.
The European Commissioner came to the polling station accompanied by Ioan Rus, a former minister in several governments, and by the representatives of Pro Romania Cluj.
“I voted while hoping in a solid restructuring of a new and true European left in Romania,” Ioan Rus said, in his turn.
BEC- voter turnout in referendum: By 11 : 00hrs, 8.49 pct of electors cast their vote
The vote turnout across the country in the referendum convened by President Klaus Iohannis stood at 8.49 percent on Sunday, until 11:00hrs, according to the data registered on the website of the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).
In the urban area, 924,677 electors voted, whereas in the rural area 627,604.
According to the BEC, in Bucharest 8.86 percent cast their vote. In District 1 – 10.36pct; in District 2 – 8.82pct; in District 3 – 7.60pct; in District 4 – 8.90pct; in District 5 – 7.83pct, and in District 6 – 9.37PCT.pct.
The data is posted in real time on the BEC website.
BEC voter turnout for the EP elections: 20pct of electors cast votes until 13:00
The nationwide voter turnout in the elections to the European Parliament on Sunday stood at 20 percent of the electors until 13:00, according to the data recorded on the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) website.
A number of 2,156,745 electors voted in the urban area and 1,466,533 persons cast their votes in the rural area.
According to BEC, 20.96 percent of the citizens cast their vote in Bucharest Capital City. In District 1 the voter turnout was 24.40pct, in District 2 – 21.30pct, in District 3 – 18.31pct, in District 4 – 21.42pct, in District 5 – 19.34pct, and in District 6 – 22.78pct.
The BEC website is posting real time results.