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How thousands of votes are lost in Romanian general elections

de V.O.
Duminică, 30 noiembrie 2008, 18:03 English | Politics

Romanian citizens having a residency visa in a Romanian city cannot vote in the college they live in and must drive all their way to the address listed on their ID. The rule is not applied to Romanian citizens abroad, who can vote only with their passport even if residing in Spain or Italy, for example, while having their ID home is in Romania. Theoretically, there should be no difference between a citizen with residence in Madrid and one with residence in Bucharest. Practically, the former can vote in Madrid, but the latter cannot vote in Bucharest or anywhere in Romania.

The difference that the new uninominal voting system valid since 2008 makes between the two types of citizens comes against logic at least in the case of Romanian citizens who reside in a EU member country.

For example, a citizen whose ID home is in Cluj, but who has a residence visa in Bucharest, cannot vote in the college he lives in in Bucharest, but must go all the way to Cluj. It's the case of students, seasonal workers and others. They no longer can vote on supplementary lists. They same situation applies to business people, families with several properties who live away from their ID home and others.

Practically, everybody who moved from one place to another over the past several years but kept their old ID address cannot vote as they could in previous elections, on supplementary lists, because the new system excludes the possibility.

But the rule does not apply to millions of Romanian citizens living abroad, who can vote with their passport and a document attesting they have legal residence in the country they live in.

It is only in 2012, when voting cards and electoral registers will be used, that Romanian citizens will be able to vote in college they live in.

A representative for the Central Electoral Office, Marian Muhulet, said the "law was clear" and that he did not believe it was "discriminatory".

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