More than 18 million Romanian voters are expected to go to the polls on Sunday at over 18,000 polling stations to open in the country to elect their representatives to the new Parliament.
Senators and MPs are elected by ballot, according to the principle of proportional representation.
Voting in the country takes place on a single day – Sunday, from 07:00hrs to 21:00hrs.
Romanians residing abroad have 2 days to exercise their vote – Saturday and Sunday.
The number of citizens with the right to vote registered with the Electoral Register as of December 2 is 18,191,396. The total number of Romanian citizens residing abroad with the right to vote in this election is 740,367. As many as 35,808 Romanian citizens abroad have opted to vote by mail by registering on the votstrainatate.ro website, and 3,078 opted to vote in person at the polling station, according to the Standing Electoral Authority (AEP).
As many as 18,802 polling stations open in the country, over 1,200 in Bucharest. In District 1 there are 166 polling stations; in District 2 – 202; in District 3 – 288; in District 4 – 184; in District 5 – 197, and in District 6 – 239.
Romanian citizens domiciled or residing in Romania can exercise their right to vote at the stations opened in the country by producing one of the following identity documents: identity card, electronic identity card, temporary identity card, diplomatic passport, electronic diplomatic passport, service passport, electronic service passport, or military service card in the case of students from military schools.
According to the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC), voters holding an identity card whose validity expired between March 1 and December 6, 2020 can exercise their right to vote by producing it.
Voters who on the day of voting are in the administrative-territorial unit where they choose residence, other than domicile, may vote only at the polling station where the street or place of residence is allocated, regardless of the date of its establishment, even if proof of residence expires between March 1 and December 6.
According to BEC, voters who on the day of voting are in the administrative-territorial unit where their domicile is may cast their ballots only at the polling station where they are registered with the permanent electoral roll. If they are omitted from the permanent electoral roll, they will be included on a supplementary register.
Voters who on the day of voting are in the administrative-territorial unit where their residence is, other than domicile, may vote only at the polling station where the residence street or area is located, regardless of the date of choice. If the voters fail to register with the Electoral Register with the address of residence, they will be registered with the supplementary register.
If on the day of voting voters are in other administrative-territorial unit than the one of domicile or residence, they can vote at any polling station, provided that it is within the county constituency where the domicile or residence is located. In such case, the voter is registered with the supplementary register.
Voters with a domicile and residence in the same administrative-territorial unit may vote either at the polling station where they are registered with the permanent electoral roll, or at the polling station where the street or area of residence is located. In the latter case, they are registered with the supplementary register.
Also, voters domiciled in Bucharest who on the day of voting are within their territorial jurisdiction, may vote only at the polling station where they are registered with the permanent electoral roll. Voters residing in Bucharest without a domicile in the city may exercise their right to vote only at the polling station where the street where he resides is located, regardless of the date of choice. Such voters who fail to register with the Electoral Register with the address of residence are registered with the supplementary register.
Voters with both a domicile and a residence in Bucharest may vote either at the polling station where they are registered with the permanent electoral roll, or at the polling station where the street where his residence is located is allocated. In the latter case, they will be entered into the supplementary register. They may vote only at the polling station where the street of their domicile or residence is located, even if, on election day they are in a different district than the one of choice for domicile or residence.
On Sunday, polling stations in the country open at 07:00hrs.
* Voters vote separately, in enclosed booths, by applying the “VOTAT” (VOTED) stamp in the quadrangle containing the list of candidates or the name of the candidate they are voting for. After voting, voters fold the ballot papers so that the blank page bearing the control stamp stays outside and put them in the ballot box making sure the papers do not accidentally open. Wrong bending of the ballot paper does not invalidate the vote if the secrecy of the vote is secured.
If the ballot paper opens in such a way that the secrecy of the ballot is no longer secured, it shall be cancelled and the voter shall be given, once only, a new ballot paper, mentioning the instance in the minutes of the voting operations.
Station chairs may ensure that the stationing of a voter in the polling station is not unduly prolonged. If a voter for well-founded reasons ascertained by the chair of the electoral bureau of the polling station cannot sign the permanent electoral roll, the chair makes a mention in the electoral roll, confirmed by his or her signature and that of another member of the electoral bureau.
The presence of any person in the polling booths, except the one casting a ballot, is prohibited. The voter who for well-founded reasons ascertained by the chair of the electoral bureau of the polling station cannot vote alone has the right to call in the voting booth a companion chosen by him or her to help with the voting. The person so chosen may not be one of the poll watchers or members of the polling station.
The use of cameras, recording or imaging equipment is prohibited in the voting booth.
* At 21:00hrs, EET, chairs of the electoral bureau of the polling station declare the voting closed and order the closure of the polling stations. Voters who are in the polling station at 21:00hrs, as well as those queuing up outside the polling station can exercise their right to vote in the December 6 general election until 23:59hrs, at the latest, as they are handed waiting numbers on tickets bearing the control stamp of the polling station involved.
Thus, on the voting day at 21:00hrs, two members of the electoral bureau of the polling station check whether there are voters in the polling station or outside it queuing up to exercise their right to vote. If at 21:00hrs in the polling station or outside it there are no voters queuing up to exercise their right to vote, the two members of the electoral bureau will issue a written statement in that regard that will be handed over to the chair of the electoral bureau of the polling station.
If at 21:00hrs in the polling station and/or outside it there are voters queuing up to exercise their right to vote, two members of the electoral bureau shall count the voters queueing up at 21:00hrs, hand out waiting numbers on tickets bearing the control stamp of the polling station involved or its equivalent, record their number in a written statement and remain outside the polling place to monitor the order of access to it.
Voters showing up to cast their ballots are required to comply with the special protection measures set up by authorities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
AEP president: No impediments in organization of electoral process
President of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) Constantin-Florin Mituletu-Buica says that preparations for Sunday’s ballot unfold normally as planned, under observance of all the rules, and that due to the experience of the previous pandemic-time local elections, there have been no impediments in the organization of the current electoral process.
“The electoral campaign ends on Saturday morning at 7:00 and the voting process in the country starts on Sunday at 7:00. Up until now everything is going according to schedule and with the observance of all the campaign rules. The counties and the diplomatic missions have been supplied with all the necessary materials for the December 6 voting process. There were no impediments in the organization of the electoral process this time, because we have the experience of the local elections that were already held during the pandemic and we knew what the risks would be, foresaw them and prepared in advance,” Mituletu-Buica told AGERPRES.
The AEP president mentioned that the registration of the incoming envelopes for the vote by mail was completed Thursday night at 23:59.
“The persons who were not able to send the vote-by-mail envelopes by that date to the diplomatic missions or to the three dedicated electoral bureaus may go on December 5 or 6 to a polling station from outside the country,” he specified.
He stressed that people who are non-transportable due to medical conditions, as well as those quarantined or isolated due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus may request the mobile ballot box to exercise their right to vote, but added that there is no legal framework to settle voting by persons quarantined in another constituency than the one where they have their domicile or residence.
The AEP president urged the citizens to go to the polls on Sunday because “greater participation would result in a greater representativity of the future Parliament’s MPs who will be elected on December 6.”
Voters allowed to travel until after midnight on election day
Amendments to the government decision on the state of alert put forth by the National Emergency Management Committee (CNSU) are to be approved today at a government meeting.
“The CNSU decision has passed and there are two main measures: one regarding the reopening of markets provided a joint order is issued by the health minister the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) and the minister of public works regarding public health measures to be taken inside the market places, and the second measure is for the election day and comprise two instances. All voters will be allowed to travel between 05:00hrs in the morning on 6 December and 01:00hrs in the morning on 7 December. (…) For quarantined areas, a regulation will be issued that provides for these exceptions. We should add that those who are in isolation at home or in quarantine at home will have to request a mobile ballot box because they have been [COVID-91] contacts,” top emergency management official with the Ministry of Interior Raed Arafat said at the beginning of the government meeting.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban mentioned that voters will be allowed to travel 01:00hrs on December 7, as the voting process may last until 23:59hrs if at 21:00hrs there are still voters queuing up to vote. “Let’s allow them to return home,” Orban added.
He added that Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) members, poll watchers, candidates, who have the right to assist both technical and auxiliary staff will be exempt from the between 23:00hrs to 05:00hrs curfew.
PM Orban: December 6-a turning point, you must come to vote
The PNL (National Liberal Party) leader, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, on Thursday, stated that the parliamentary elections represent a turning point and assured that the exercise of the ballot will be done in the safest conditions to protect health.
“December 6 is a turning point, we have the chance for Romania to go in the right direction, we have the chance to succeed in giving Romania a responsible parliamentary majority and a government capable of implementing the National Development Plan. Romania’s destiny lies in the hands of each of us, we have the power and we just have to use it. You need to think, all of you, how important it is to come to polls, to exercise your fundamental right to vote. I know that there were many who tried to scare you, telling you not to come to vote, but I guarantee that you will be able to exercise this fundamental right in the safest conditions to protect health. None of those who will come to the polls will have their health endangered, because we have taken strict protective measures, which we will apply, and anyone who exercises their right to vote will be protected from the risk of infection,” Orban said in a statement at PNL headquarters.
According to the PNL leader, the vote in Sunday’s parliamentary elections represents “an investment in Romania’s chance for development.”
“Every vote you will give to the PNL will mean a guarantee for Romania’s course in the right direction, a guarantee for the achievement of an ambitious plan that really has the possibility to raise Romania. Dear Romanians, the December 6 elections are also about Romania and how Romania will look in the future, these are elections that will define Romania’s path in the coming years, the elections of December 6 are also about common sense and about humanity and about solidarity and responsibility. The elections of December 6 are also about honesty, fairness, competence and ability to meet objectives. We have won the last three elections – for the European Parliament, presidential and local elections – parliamentary elections are instead the decisive elections in which all Romanians who trusted us, who trusted President Klaus Iohannis, and who believed in our ability to put Romania first must come to the polls and vote with those who have shown that they are able to develop Romania, to brings improvements in the life of each of the Romanians. Dear Romanians, on December 6, decide the future of Romania! On December 6, vote to ensure the development of Romania, and from December 7, I expect you to develop Romania together,” said Ludovic Orban.