69,979 voters living abroad are registered in the excerpt of the Central Voter’s List for the upcoming General Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina points out that the reason for the significantly lower number of registered voters compared to local elections is the stricter requirements for registration. The Diaspora Center “Mreža” has announced organized transportation for voters living outside BiH who have not registered for the upcoming General Elections in BiH.
The Diaspora Center “Mreža” announced that, in cooperation with congregations, associations and businessmen, they will organize free transportation of voters from numerous cities of the European Union to the regular polling station in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It will be the first time that BiH citizens come from the diaspora in an organized manner to vote at the polling station where they are registered.
“In the coming period, we will announce from which cities in the European Union transportation for voters to the regular polling station in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be organized, as well as the contact information for registration,” the “Mreža” state.
Almost 70,000 citizens from the diaspora are registered in the Central Voter’s Register, mostly from Prijedor, Banjaluka, Cazin, Sanski Most… The Central Election Commission points out that due to abuses when registering to vote by mail, it was introduced that an official certificate of place must be attached to the registration stay abroad.
“All citizens who live abroad and come to their place of residence in BiH on election day can vote on unconfirmed ballots. Those ballots are counted in the main counting center, so there is no possibility for someone to vote both by mail and on an unconfirmed ballot. ballot,” says Jovan Kalaba, a member of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The new way of applying for voting by mail, according to the “Under Scrutiny” Coalition, will reduce the possibility of misuse of other people’s data, as their observers found in earlier election cycles. They say that voting from the diaspora will be organized under their supervision.
“The question is whether these people registered to vote by mail, because there are almost 50,000 fewer registered by mail than in local elections. If they registered by mail, they have the right to vote at the polling station on an uncertified ballot. In in the event that someone voted by mail and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that vote sent by mail will be annulled,” points out Srđan Ostojić from the “Under Scrutiny” Coalition.
In the last local elections, 120,000 voters from abroad were registered to vote by mail. The CEC reminds that, after they published a list of names on the website, they were contacted by citizens whose personal data had been misused, because they had never lived abroad. That’s why they introduced as a mandatory document – a certificate of residence in the city where they live, which is one of the reasons for 40 percent fewer people registered to vote by mail than two years ago.