Remote online voting will have its first experimental introduction starting 2018, Bulgarian lawmakers decided on Wednesday. The emergency session of full Parliament, that has been holding marathon debates and votes since Tuesday to pass a final version of the new Electoral Code, was the first to set a clear timetable for e-voting after the latter was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum last year. A total of three tests will be held throughout 2018, each in a single Bulgarian region. If they prove successful, online voting will be officially introduced as a legitimate means to take part in an election for the 2019 European Parliament vote. By 2018, electoral officials will have to organize at least three simulations of online voting with fictitious parties, coalitions and candidates.
Voters who choose to cast a ballot online will be registered on a special website and will have to leave an email appress for contact. If a voter casts a paper ballot after having used the online option, the latter will become void.
The text was passed by a majority of 118-6 with three abstentions. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), was the political force that openly opposed online voting, asserting that it was an easy target of manipulations.