Citizens from diaspora need alternative voting methods, conference

The citizens from the diaspora need alternative voting methods to be able to exercise their right to vote. The amendment of the Electoral Code by introducing alternative voting methods, such as postal voting and electronic voting, should be on the agenda of the political parties. It is important that the public and the decision makers reach a consensus, said participants in the conference “Vote in the diaspora: Optimal solutions for overcoming current challenges” that was staged by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms.

Elena Prohnitski, secretary of the Coalitions for Free and Fair Elections, said the promotion of pre-registration that influences the decision on the establishment of out-of-country polling stations alongside other factors started rather late. This year’s presidential runoff abroad involved by 75% more voters that in the first round of voting. As a result, the maximum 5,000 ballots at six polling stations were used up. Many of the voters could not thus cast their ballots. Also, some of the polling stations were unable to serve the citizens during the allotted period of time even if the voting time at some of the stations was extended.

MP Igor Munteanu noted that the massive participation by the diplopia in these elections is a real catalyst of change at political level. It emphasized the necessity of modernizing the electoral system by implementing alternative voting methods. To create an appropriate legal framework, the Electoral Code needs to be amended. A discussion on the issue is to be held next Monday, with a relevant legislative proposal being already submitted.

Galina Sajin, MP on behalf of the diaspora, said the experience of the last elections and the high voter turnout showed the people are not indifferent. The diaspora is open to all the opportunities that would facilitate the right to vote. The proposal to increase the number of ballots for one polling station to 10,000 and to hold the elections during two days can help to ensure more people realize their right to vote.

Dumitru Vicol, of the community “Adopt a Vote”, said he does not see sense in the opening of more polling stations as the problem resides in the location of the stations. They should be established in areas where the concentration of Moldovans is higher. The polling stations now were established in areas that the Moldovans could reach after travelling for several hours and they also had to queue up then.

According to the executive director of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives Vadim Pistrinciuc, the large number of Moldovans who voted abroad showed that the number of Moldovan citizens abroad is high. The politicians should have views for the diaspora or they will be penalized. Pressure should be exerted on politicians and the protests are the most efficient method in this regard. Postal voting is welcome, but fear of election rigging appears in this case. Solutions should be thus found to secure this vote. Pressure on the legislature to adopt postal voting and then electronic voting should be exerted long before the elections.

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