15.46% were the invalid votes in the local elections held on October 29. Statistics show that the vote for mayors and municipal councilors is always characterized by a high percentage of invalid votes.
“This year we set a record of sorts with almost half a percent more invalid than the same type of vote in 2019. It’s questionable how much voters were aware of the ballot design, especially since after 2021 people got used to machine voting, which makes it much easier”, comments Iva Lazarova from the Institute for the Development of the Public Environment.
She emphasized that there is no possibility of an invalid vote in voting by machines. “A printed receipt cannot provide a basis for different interpretations during the census. Scratching the receipt will not invalidate it. A serious analysis is needed”, insisted Lazarova.
“The numbers are very disturbing. This means that the vote of the voters is skewed in many cases. In order to know what the hypothesis is, the bags must be opened, and the CEC must appoint some working group to do an analysis. Especially in cases where the percentage of invalid ballots is disturbingly high. This has not been done so far, even though the Public Council has raised this issue more than once”, stressed the chairperson of the Public Council of the CEC, Tsvetelina Peneva.
A comment was also made on the occasion of the French high school in Sofia. There, one of the members of the SIC lists the ballots and says who the votes are for. However, the recording member is recording the votes for another candidate. Thus, instead of 120 votes being registered for Vasil Terziev, they go to Anton Hekimyan.
“120 votes have been moved up one row. Imagine how many such errors may have been made in the counting of votes and the reporting of results that we cannot catch. The video surveillance shows that there are 120 ballots for Terziev. This means that the reliability of counting votes by manual counting is not good. We should think about another way of counting the votes – by machine, with a machine protocol”, Peneva believes.
The Chairman of the Public Council of the CEC emphasized that there is not a single documented fact to date that indicates that the result of a machine vote was incorrectly reported or manipulated. “What was presented in the National Assembly, when the changes to the Electoral Code were debated, names of sections where there were discrepancies between the votes and the protocol in the machines were cited. After that, the CEC appointed a special commission, which did not find a single inconsistency,” Peneva specified.
Watch the whole conversation in the video.
READ ALL ABOUT THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS HERE