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Bucharest
January 17, 2021
POLITICS

Parliamentary elections 2020: Polling stations open nationwide, Romanians elect their MPs

Polling stations opened nationwide on Sunday, with more than 18 million voters expected to go to the polls to decide who will represent them in Parliament over the next four years.

Romanians will elect 136 senators and 329 deputies, and also 4 deputies and 2 senators representing the Romanian community abroad. The members of the future parliament are elected on party lists, according to the proportional representation principle.

As many as 18,802 polling stations are organized in the country, with over 1,200 in Bucharest.

Voting in the country takes place in a single day – Sunday, from 7:00 to 21:00.

At 21:00, the president of the electoral bureau of the polling station declares the voting closed and orders the closure of the polling station. Voters who, at 21:00, are in the polling station, as well as those who are in a row outside this polling station can exercise their right to vote until 23:59 at the latest, receiving order receipt with the polling station’s control stamp.

Abroad, voting takes place over two days – Saturday and Sunday, with more than 700 polling stations being organized.

Senators and deputies are elected by ballot, according to the principle of proportional representation, for a term of four years.

The first polling stations from abroad opened on Saturday evening in New Zealand and Australia, and the last ones will close on Monday morning on the western coasts of the US and Canada. Over 740 thousand Romanians with a right to vote reside abroad. Of them, more than 39 thousand have registered for postal voting. The Romanian Foreign Ministry opened 748 polling stations abroad, and launched an interactive map of all polling stations and a hotline for Romanian voters living abroad. A number of localities are in lockdown, but the authorities said voters can travel freely to the polling stations within these localities, RRI informs.

 

Sunday’s elections, under sign of pandemic; anti-COVID-19 measures imposed by authorities

 

Voters who go to the polls on Sunday to elect their representatives in the new Legislature are compelled to comply with the special protection measures established by the authorities in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities have established several measures for both citizens who come to the polls and members of polling stations.

The measures will also apply during the counting of votes, at the closing of the polls.

These measures cover both the wearing of the mask, the disinfection of hands and objects, and the distancing:

* the wearing of a protective mask, so as to cover the nose and mouth, by the participants in the electoral process (voters, members of the polling stations, computer operators, accredited persons, candidates, accredited delegates, security staff, technical staff of polling stations, computer scientists, staff of the operative intervention centers for remedying the malfunctions of the computer system for monitoring turnout and preventing illegal voting, members of the hierarchically superior constituency electoral bureau) for the entire period the headquarters of the polling station and in the polling station;

* ensuring the physical distancing of at least one meter between the participants in the electoral process;

* the periodic disinfection and after each direct contact with other persons of the hands of the participants in the electoral process;

* disinfection of polling stations;

* establishing, as far as possible, through the care of the mayors, separate entry and exit circuits in the polling station headquarters and in the polling station, as well as their corresponding marking with indicators;

* marking, through the care of the mayors, the parking places inside the polling station and outside it, so as to ensure the maintenance of the physical distancing of at least one meter between the participants in the electoral process;

* the location, in the polling station and in the polling station, of the vials with disinfectant solution, based on alcohol, for hands, marked accordingly, as well as of the containers where the used masks and gloves will be thrown;

* ensuring the technical staff that will measure the temperature of the participants in the electoral process, at the entrance to the polling station and that will guide the voters to the polling station, respectively to the exit from the polling station, so that they spend as little time as possible indoor;

* ensuring, through the care of the mayors, the non-contact thermometers and by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the sanitary protection materials, as well as of the disinfectant materials for the polling stations;

* the president of the electoral bureau of the polling station or his/her deputy, as the case may be, will ensure that the total number of persons present at the same time in the polling station, except for the voters, will not exceed 15;

* the access to the polling station will be staged so that in the ballot box there will be no more than 5 voters present at the same time and the distance of at least one meter between people will be observed; the voters are obliged to disinfect their hands at the entrance and exit of the polling station and the polling station;

* the voter will be instructed to position the identity document or the identity document in the support of the computer terminal so that his identification data can be taken over in the Computer System for monitoring the presence of voting and preventing illegal voting; if this is not possible, the computer operator will perform this procedure after which he/she will disinfect his/her hands by applying an alcohol-based disinfectant solution or change his/her gloves;

* In order to be identified by the computer operator and by the members of the electoral bureau of the polling station, the voter will be instructed to briefly remove his mask to be identified, at a distance of at least 1.5 m from the computer operator And the members of the electoral bureau of the polling station, and after identification the voter will reposition the mask covering his/her nose and mouth;

* the voter will go to the office or desk where the member of the electoral bureau of the polling station is, which will take his/her signature in the electoral list and will position the identity document or the identity document, as the case may be, on the respective office or desk so that touching it by the members of the polling station will not be necessary;

* physical contact with the members of the electoral bureau of the polling station will be avoided while the voter signs in the electoral list, when taking over the ballot papers and the stamp with the mention “VOTED”. As far as possible, ballot papers, the stamp “VOTED” and pens to be used by voters for signing will be arranged so that the voter can take them alone, without having direct contact with members of the polling station, under their supervision and at their indication;

* after exercising the right to vote, the voter will apply alone, at the indication and under the supervision of the members of the electoral bureau of the polling station, the sticker or the stamp with the mention “VOTED”, as the case may be, on the identity document or identity document;

* the total number of persons who are present at the same time in the polling station, during the counting of votes, may not exceed 20.

 

BEC – voter turnout 22.43 pct until 16:00 hrs

 

The voter turnout nationally in the parliamentary elections stood, on Sunday at 16:00 hrs, at 22.43 pct, meaning 4,080,404 voters, according to the data announced by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).

In the urban environment, 2,208,232 voters turned out to the polls, while in the rural environment there were 1,872,172.

A number of 49,827 voters cast their ballots using the mobile urn.

In Bucharest 22.04 pct of voters have cast their ballots. In District 1 the turnout stood at 26.84 pct of voters enrolled in the electoral lists, in District 2 – 23.05 pct, in District 3 – 18.72 pct, in District 4 – 22.59 pct, in District 5 – 19.95 pct, in District 6 – 23.65 pct.

The highest voter turnout was recorded in the counties of Mehedinti – 31.66 pct; Teleorman – 27.94 pct and Olt – 27.48 pct, and the lowest in the counties of Vaslui – 17.44 pct; Ialomita – 18.99 pct, and Arad – 19.06 pct.

 

The turnout by county is as follows:

 

* Alba – 22.80 pct

 

* Arad – 19.06 pct

 

* Arges – 24.26 pct

 

* Bacau – 21.14 pct

 

* Bihor – 24.58 pct

 

* Bistrita-Nasaud – 20.59 pct

 

* Botosani – 21.81 pct

 

* Brasov – 22.19 pct

 

* Braila – 22.18 pct

 

* Buzau – 25.40 pct

 

* Caras-Severin – 19.58 pct

 

* Calarasi – 22.81 pct

 

* Cluj – 22.09 pct

 

* Constanta – 23.35 pct

 

* Covasna – 19.89 pct

 

* Dambovita – 23.79 pct

 

* Dolj – 26.20 pct

 

* Galati – 21.93 pct

 

* Giurgiu – 26.33 pct

 

* Gorj – 26.98 pct

 

* Harghita – 24.03 pct

 

* Hunedoara – 23.47 pct

 

* Ialomita – 18.99 pct

 

* Iasi – 19.36 pct

 

* Ilfov – 24.56 pct

 

* Maramures – 19.49 pct

 

* Mehedinti – 31.66 pct

 

* Mures – 20.81 pct

 

* Neamt – 21.87 pct

 

* Olt – 27.48 pct

 

* Prahova – 21.65 pct

 

* Satu Mare – 19.22 pct

 

* Salaj – 23.58 pct

 

* Sibiu – 21.30 pct

 

* Suceava – 20.52 pct

 

* Teleorman – 27.94 pct

 

* Timis – 20.15 pct

 

* Tulcea – 20.87 pct

 

* Vaslui – 17.44 pct

 

* Valcea – 24.49 pct

 

* Vrancea – 24.61 pct

 

In the parliamentary elections of 2016, the turnout to the polls until 16:00 hrs stood at 27.07 pct.

 

BEC-Voter turnout 31.11 pct as of 20:00 hrs

 

The turnout in Romania’s general election this Sunday was 31.11 percent as of 20:00 hrs, with 5,659,852 people having turned out to the polls, according to data released by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).

In urban areas, 3,045,446 voters went to the polls and 2,614,406 people cast ballots in rural areas.

A total of 70,103 voters used the mobile ballot box.

The turnout in Bucharest City was 30.20 percent: 36.72 percent in Sector 1; 31.49 percent in Sector 2; 25.75 percent in Sector 3; 31.28 percent in Sector 4; 27.21 percent in Sector 5; and 32.24 percent in Sector 6.

The highest turnout was reported in the counties of Mehedinti – 41.97 percent; Olt – 37.09 percent; and Teleorman – 37.08 percent; while the lowest was in the counties of Vaslui – 23.14 percent; Ialomita – 25.71 percent; and Iasi – 26.18 percent.

In the 2016 parliamentary election, the turnout as of the same hour was 38.65 percent.

 

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