Up to 66,000 Slovaks to vote from abroad

Up to 66,000 Slovaks to vote from abroad

According to the Chairman of the Civic Association Srdcom Doma, or Home is Where the Heart is, Samuel Zubo, the total number of Slovaks voting from abroad in the forthcoming parliamentary elections could reach 66,000, providing that the number of applications received by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic represents six percent of the total number of applications for voting from abroad, as was the case in the 2016 parliamentary elections.

The Ministry of Interior stated that it has so far registered more than 4,000 requests for postal election from abroad. However, the Ministry receives applications only from Slovaks working abroad who are no longer resident in Slovakia. Applications of citizens who live and work abroad but still have a permanent residence in Slovakia are registered by municipal authorities in their place of permanent residence. "If someone is not resident in Slovakia, their application is sent to the relevant municipal authority. Thus, the number of applications that come to the Ministry of Interior does not represent the total number of Slovaks voting from abroad," said Samuel Zubo.

Slovaks were able apply for postal election from abroad by midnight, 10 January.

A total of 47,065 people completed their application form through the volby.srdcomdoma.sk platform and 38,997 through the voľby.digital platform. According to OZ Slovensko.Digital spokeswoman Hana Benediktova, the application was submitted not only by Slovaks living and working abroad long-term, but also by people who will be outside Slovakia at the time of the elections.

According to sociologist Martin Slosiarik, Slovaks perceive these particular elections as highly important. Compared to the 2016 elections, the voters' interest in voting from abroad has increased approximately fourfold.

The parliamentary elections will take place on Saturday 29 February. Polling stations will be open from 07:00 to 22:00. A total of 25 political entities will be on the ballot.

Romana Grajcarová, Photo: Flickr/Judy van der Velden