Preliminary government estimates are that buying voting machines will cost about 30 million leva (about 15.3 million euro), Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev told reporters on February 14. Donchev was speaking two days after Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that the government would buy voting machines for all polling stations. Bulgaria is due to go the polls twice in 2021, in parliamentary elections in the spring and presidential elections in the autumn. A voting machine cost about the same as a mid-range laptop, less than 2000 leva, and 15 000 to 20 000 machines would have to be ordered, Donchev said. There were a few details that could change the price, he said. “Since autumn last year we have been looking into the market, which is not very easy. Because there is no European experience that we can take into account. Further the situation is complicated by the situation in China,” Donchev said, saying that whatever the components, some were made in China.Full Article: Bulgaria’s Deputy PM: Buying voting machines will cost about 30M leva | The Sofia Globe.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian government will provide funds to buy voting machines so that there is one at each polling station at the next elections, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov told a Cabinet meeting on February 12. He added, however, that he was not convinced that this would solve anything. In 2019, Bulgaria’s Parliament amended the Electoral Code to require the use of 3000 voting machines in last year’s presidential elections, 6000 in the municipal elections, and in National Assembly elections. Ahead of the autumn 2019 municipal elections, the law was amended again, to remove the requirement for the use of machines in that vote. That followed a Central Electoral Commission (CEC) analysis after the European Parliament elections that the deployment of voting machines – the first time they had been used on a large scale in Bulgaria – had created a number of difficulties.Full Article: Bulgarian PM: Government will buy voting machines for all polling stations | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) ruled on April 30 to deny the challenge lodged by one of losing bidders in the tender for the hire of 3000 voting machines for the country’s May 26 European Parliament elections. The plaintiff, which was disqualified by Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) on the grounds that its offer did not meet the technical specifications set by the watchdog, argued that none of the three bidders could fully meet the technical requirements in the short time allocated for the tender. CEC spokesperson Alexander Andreev denied the allegations, saying that the electoral body met all the requirements set in the public procurement act and the technical requirements were met, as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio. Last week, CEC picked Ciela Norma as the winner in the tender. The company will have to deliver the voting machines by May 10, with software installation due to be completed by May 15, followed by 10 days for certification and audits. The voting machines would be then shipped to voting precincts on May 25.Full Article: Bulgaria high court rejects appeal in voting machines tender | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has picked a winner in the tender for the hire of 3000 voting machines for the country’s May 26 European Parliament elections. Three bidders submitted offers before the deadline, but CEC said that two were disqualified – one on the grounds that its bid was higher than the 7.5 million leva (about 3.8 million euro) cost ceiling set by CEC, the other because its offer did not meet the technical specifications set by the watchdog. The winner, Ciela Norma, said that it was prepared to meet all the deadlines even though it faced a slew of issues. A company official told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) that some voting machines were yet to be manufactured and shipped to Bulgaria and the software was not ready, given that CEC was yet to finalise its requirements on the printouts produced by the voting machines. Under the terms of CEC’s tender, the machines have to be delivered by May 10, with software installation due to be completed by May 15, followed by 10 days for certification and audits. The voting machines would be then shipped to voting precincts on May 25.Full Article: Bulgaria’s election watchdog picks company to supply voting machines | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has called a tender for the hire of 3000 voting machines for the country’s May 26 European Parliament elections. The CEC intends to rent, rather than buy, the voting machines, and plans to spend up to 7.5 million to 15 million leva (about 3.8 million euro) on the contract. The cost will include software installation and training, the CEC said. Under the terms of the tender, the machines are slated for delivery by May 10, with software installation due to be completed by May 15, followed by 10 days for certification and audits, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio quoted CEC spokesperson Tanya Tsaneva as saying. The voting machines would be then shipped to voting precincts on May 25.Full Article: Bulgaria’s election watchdog calls tender to rent 3000 voting machines | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria must be ready for malicious cyber attacks, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev said on February 11, warning that there was no election process exempt from attempts to “hit” it. Election processes are within Donchev’s portfolio as deputy head of government. Bulgaria is scheduled to go to the polls twice in 2019, in European Parliament elections in May and mayoral and municipal elections in the autumn. Donchev’s comment came a day after Tsvetan Tsvetanov, parliamentary leader of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party, said that he was sure that Russia would try to interfere in Bulgaria’s elections this year.Full Article: Deputy PM: Bulgaria must be ready for malicious cyber attacks in elections.
Bulgaria: Electoral authority to ask MPs to defer introduction of electronic voting | The Sofia Globe
Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) tabled a report to the country’s National Assembly recommending that MPs postpone the introduction of electronic voting, which currently is slated to be used for the first time in the European Parliament elections in May 2019. Although CEC did not make its report public, several media reports said that CEC made its recommendation based on several simulations of electronic voting.Full Article: Bulgaria electoral authority to ask MPs to defer introduction of electronic voting | The Sofia Globe.
The first legislation that Bulgaria’s ruling centre-right GERB party has proposed within the new 44th National Assembly – the introduction of a majoritarian electoral system – is likely to face opposition from the other four parties in parliament. Following promises it made during the previous legislature and in the campaign ahead of the snap vote on March 26, GERB on Wednesday proposed changes to the electoral code that would transform the current mixed electoral system into a fully majoritarian one, in which MPs are elected in constituencies with an absolute majority in two rounds. The proposal follows a referendum on changes to the political system held on November 6, 2016, which 2.5 million citizens – 11,000 short of the number needed to make the results of the plebiscite mandatory – supported.Full Article: Bulgaria Parties Give Planned Election Changes Cool Reception :: Balkan Insight.
Bulgaria: Ruling party to table legislation to introduce majoritarian election system | The Sofia Globe
The first legislation that Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party will table in the Parliament elected in March this year will be to introduce a majoritarian system for electing MPs, parliamentary group leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said. Tsvetanov was speaking on the weekend after Borissov returned to power as Prime Minister, at the head of a coalition government of GERB and the nationalist United Patriots. Tabling a bill on a majoritarian voting system was a fulfilment of a commitment made by GERB at the end of the previous legislature as well as its promises during the campaign ahead of the March 2017 elections, Tsvetanov said.Full Article: Bulgaria’s GERB party to table legislation to introduce majoritarian election system | The Sofia Globe.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, Radev called on the new parliament which will start work on April 19 to take steps to prevent the recurrence of what he called “significant problems” at snap elections last month. He said Bulgaria had witnessed “targeted attempt from abroad to influence the electoral results” – indirectly referring to Turkey’s agitation in favour of DOST, a recently-formed ethnic Turkish-dominated party, which resulted in the extradition of several Turkish officials by the Bulgarian authorities prior to the vote. “The problems remain after the election. They do not end with external interference, there are targeted attempts at deep and systematic infiltration and influence over society and political life in the country,” Radev said.Full Article: Bulgarian President Demands Curbs on ‘Foreign Interference’ :: Balkan Insight.
Bulgaria: Caretaker Justice Minister fires official over unconstitutional draft bill limiting voting rights abroad | The Sofia Globe
A controversial draft bill that would have curtailed the voting rights of Bulgarians abroad has been withdrawn and the official responsible for posting it online has been fired. This was announced by the Justice Ministry on April 5, a day after reports about the draft bill, which proposed allowing Bulgarians to vote in parliamentary and presidential elections only if they had been resident in the country three months prior to the vote. Critics immediately pointed out that this would hardly survive a challenge in the Constitutional Court. In its Wednesday statement, the ministry said that caretaker Justice Minister Maria Pavlova had identified “imperfections” in the text of the draft amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act.Full Article: Bulgarian caretaker Justice Minister fires official over unconstitutional draft bill limiting voting rights abroad | The Sofia Globe.
Boiko Borisov, the comeback specialist of Bulgarian politics, looked to have done it again as exit polls from a snap election put his pro-EU centre-right party in first place. Borisov’s European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party won about 32%, the exit polls on Sunday showed, ahead of the Socialist party (BSP) on about 28%. Observers had suggested victory for the BSP might see Bulgaria, a Nato member, tilt more towards Russia. Moscow, which has long had close cultural and economic ties with Bulgaria, has been accused of seeking to expand its influence in other Balkan countries in recent months. Borisov said after the exit poll that he was “obliged” by the vote to form a government but whether the burly former firefighter and mayor of Sofia, 57, can form a stable coalition remains to be seen.Full Article: Borisov's pro-EU party beats Socialists in Bulgaria's snap election | World news | The Guardian.
The former prime minister of Bulgaria verged on retaking power Sunday as his center-right party held a narrow lead in a contested election, a sign that Bulgarians still see their future lying with the European Union. While official results were not expected until Monday, it appeared that the former leader, Boiko Borisov, would form a new government in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member, probably in a coalition with an alliance of smaller right-wing nationalist parties. The Socialists, who had advocated stronger ties with Russia and had vowed to block a renewal of European Union sanctions against the Kremlin, could not convince enough voters that they were the better alternative and conceded defeat.Full Article: Bulgaria’s Ex-Premier Nears Return to Power in a Key Election for Europe - The New York Times.
Bulgarians vote on Sunday in a closely-fought election, with the centre-right GERB party challenged for power by Socialists who say they will improve ties with Russia even if it means upsetting the country’s European Union partners. Opinion polls put the GERB party of former prime minister Boiko Borisov, 57, only narrowly ahead of the Socialists, who have seen their popularity rise since the candidate they backed, Rumen Radev, won Bulgaria’s presidency in November. Borisov resigned in the wake of Radev’s victory, triggering Bulgaria’s third parliamentary election in just four years.Full Article: Snap election to test Bulgaria's divided loyalties.
With eyes fixed on populist threats in other European Union elections, one vote has escaped the glare. And this one promises to strengthen Russia’s foothold in the region. While affirming their commitment to the EU, Bulgaria’s two biggest parties say they’ll revive economic ties with Russia to benefit voters who feel let down by the bloc a decade after membership. The Socialists, neck and neck with Gerb before Sunday’s snap parliamentary ballot, vow to go further, by sinking sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s government. A Russian-friendly Socialist won the presidency in 2016.Full Article: The Under-the-Radar EU Vote That Opens the Door for Russia - Bloomberg.
There will be a total of 371 polling stations in 70 foreign countries for Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia said on March 21. More than 45 000 notifications of intention to vote in a foreign country were submitted, the largest number from Bulgarian citizens in Turkey, 19 000. There were more than 5300 from the United Kingdom and more than 3000 from Spain. Ballot papers have been delivered to a third of the polling stations so far.
Bulgaria: Expats in Germany and US take election commission to court over polling stations | The Sofia Globe
ulgarian citizens living in Germany and the United States are taking the Central Election Commission (CEC) to the Supreme Administrative Court over the commission not opening polling stations in 13 German cities and two places in the US with Bulgarian communities. This emerged from the electronic public register of complaints and communications submitted to the CEC, Bulgarian National Radio said on March 9, seventeen days ahead of Bulgaria’s early parliamentary elections.Full Article: Bulgarian expats in Germany and US take election commission to court over polling stations | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria: Could the lack of voting machines sink Bulgaria’s March parliamentary elections? | The Sofia Globe
The fact that there will not be voting machines at all polling stations in Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections could open the way for a challenge in the Constitutional Court challenge – but there is no certainty that such a challenge would succeed. This emerges from the view taken by some members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and specialists in Bulgarian constitutional law. The CEC decided on February 25 not to accept the sole bid to supply the machines, saying that the bidder did not meet the technical and timeframe criteria to supply the 12 500 machines needed to comply with a Supreme Administrative Court ruling handed down on February 1. The court ruled that to comply with an amendment to electoral law approved in 2015, there should be voting machines at all polling stations, in Bulgaria and abroad, as an alternative to using a ballot paper.Full Article: Could the lack of voting machines sink Bulgaria’s March parliamentary elections? | The Sofia Globe.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) has fended off claims that the vote might be contested due to the lack of electronic voting. CEC spokesperson Aleksandar Andreev has told the Bulgarian National Radio that the development is far from being the most substantial claim one could lodge over the election. The comments follow a CEC decision to cancel a tender that would have secured voting machines less than a month ahead of the election. Electronic voting has been made mandatory as an option alongside paper ballots under the latest amendments to legislation adopted last year. In the interview, however, Andreev has enumerated other possible reasons that could turn into “more serious” occasions to dispute the election results. These include the electoral rolls which have not been cleared for 27 years, giving ground to manipulate the vote.Full Article: Bulgaria's Election Officials Play Down Machine Voting Failure - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
Bulgarians will not be able to use a voting machine in March 26’s early election, officials say. The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Saturday scrapped the single offer submitted during the tender to deliver 12 500 voting machines needed. At a meeting that went into the evening, a special committee noted the bidder, a firm named Lireks, was unable to match the expectations and deliver the machines by March 10 and install the software by March 17. Lireks had insisted the newly built machines would arrive by March 20 with a software already installed.