Reuters, 21/01 13:49 CETSOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s parliament gave the green light on Thursday to introducing electronic voting, a move expected to help Bulgarians living abroad to cast their ballot in future elections and encourage young and educated people to vote.
The parliament gave the nod to the move by a heavy majority after almost 70 percent of voters from the 7.2 million population approved the measure in a referendum last October.[L8N12Q1W3]
The measure will come into force after changes to the voting code that should provide guarantees that the system can avoid attempts of manipulation and preserve voters’ anonymity.
It was backed by 136 deputies with 56 voting against, with the main opposition Socialist party’s leader Mihail Mikov saying electronic voting would “cut the expenses of those who manipulate elections”.
“The people’s will was clearly expressed at the referendum,” said Daniel Smilov, a political analyst at the Center for Liberal Strategies. “Electronic voting will lure new groups of people to vote.”
“More young people will be involved as well as the Bulgarians, who live abroad. We all know that young people are accustomed to reside in cyberspace.”
About two million Bulgarians are estimated to live abroad.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Richard Balmforth)