Greece introduces Online Postal Voting Platform: Over 11,000 applications in first week

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In a landmark move aimed at facilitating voters’ rights, Greece has launched an online platform for postal voting registration.

Within just two days of its launch, more than 8,000 Greek citizens residing abroad have already registered on the platform, indicating a strong initial response. On the sixth day since registration opened, the number of applications soared to 11,300. These applications hail from Greece as well as from 76 other countries, predominantly within the European Union. A noteworthy trend is the participation of members of the Greek Diaspora residing in countries with a limited Greek presence, such as Kenya, Kazakhstan, and even Papua New Guinea.

While the level of interest in the European elections may not match that of national elections, it is anticipated that the number of Greeks abroad participating in the June 9 electoral process will surpass previous years. This is attributed to the removal of legal restrictions that were in place for Greeks residing abroad during the May and June 2023 national elections, coupled with the logistical challenges of accessing distant polling stations. In the previous parliamentary elections, nearly 23,000 Greeks living abroad were registered in the special electoral lists. Out of these, approximately 18,000 and 15,600 individuals cast their votes in May and June, respectively.

Officially inaugurated on Monday, February 19, the online platform provides the option of postal voting for participating in European elections and national referendums. This initiative, following the recent passage of the relevant law through Parliament, marks the first time postal voting has been established in Greece.

Greece introduces Online Postal Voting Platform: Over 11,000 applications in the first week

The platform allows all Greek citizens registered in the electoral rolls, regardless of their location, to exercise their right to vote via postal ballots. Notably, Greeks living abroad can exclusively participate in the upcoming European elections through postal voting. Registration for the June 9 European Parliament elections must be completed by April 29, and citizens are encouraged to utilize the online platform and exercise their voting rights effectively.

To register, voters can access the platform http:/epistoliki.ypes.gov.gr, using their taxis codes if they have one, otherwise they can utilize their passport details, police ID card and/ or municipality number. For detailed information on voting procedures and the documents needed, citizens can refer to the official government website at https://www.gov.gr/en/ipiresies/polites-kai-kathemerinoteta/ekloges/postal-vote

Minister of Interior Niki Kerameus explained the procedure and emphasized that any registered citizen can request postal voting. Citizens within Greece can seek assistance from Citizen Service Centers (KEP), while voters outside Greece can contact relevant Greek Consular Authorities for support (Consulates, Embassies, Consular Offices).

For the upcoming European Parliament elections on June 9, citizens must declare their location for May and specify the address for receiving voting materials. Completed forms must be dispatched via registered mail at no cost to the voter, ensuring timely delivery by June 8, the day preceding the elections.

The Interior Ministry will provide voting materials to registered individuals in May, ensuring a seamless process for remote voting. Furthermore, Greek embassies in EU member states are conducting information campaigns, underscoring the importance of citizen participation in the electoral process.

This platform’s activation is an important milestone, especially significant for the Greek Diaspora, as it removes geographical barriers to voting rights for Greek citizens living abroad. By embracing postal voting, the Greek Diaspora can contribute to shaping the future of their homeland, reaffirming their connection to Greece and their commitment to democratic principles. When it comes to Greeks living in Greece, it particularly benefits groups such as elderly citizens, seasonal workers, citizens with disabilities, and students amidst examination periods.

The introduction of the online postal voting platform signifies a progressive step towards enhancing democratic participation and inclusivity in Greece, setting a precedent for future electoral processes.

Source https://www.greeknewsagenda.gr/greece-postal-voting

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