Four years ago, 350,000 people wanted to vote abroad, now we have a record 600,000. Never before have so many people requested certificates to be able to vote elsewhere in the country. How is Poland going to the elections?
The doors in the office almost don’t close – this is perfect proof that Poles are trying to break attendance records. Until October 12, you can either add yourself to the voter roll or download a certificate confirming the possibility of voting outside your place of residence. Poles even storm offices. Some of them issued the most certificates in history. – There are actually more people interested in either the certificate or the addition than in the previous parliamentary elections – admits Marcin Januchta from the Kielce City Hall.
By Wednesday morning, 1 million 400 thousand people had registered or downloaded a certificate of voting rights to change their voting place. This is almost four times more than four years ago. – This year we have already broken a record in terms of interest in the elections to the Sejm and Senate – says Rafał Miszczuk from the City Hall in Szczecin.
The procedure is very simple. Everything can be done online – or in a few minutes at the office.
Abroad is also setting records. There will be a record number of committees and the number of people who want to vote.
Mrs. Urszula lives in Madrid, but when she went on holiday to Malaga, she also joined the vote. – There are more people who think like me, because two days later I received an e-mail that another commission had been opened, so there are two in Malaga. There were five in Madrid, says Urszula Tomkiewicz, a Pole living in Spain.
Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau also admits that “the scale of the undertaking is unprecedented.” Over 600,000 people have already registered to vote abroad. This is three times more than 8 years ago.
However, the record number of people also poses problems for foreign commissions. The PiS law requires them to count all votes within 24 hours. And since each card will have to be viewed by every member of the committee, meeting the deadline may be impossible. – I am almost sure that there will be committees that will have a choice, basically: whether to count on time or to count in accordance with the law – adds Kamil Arendt, Polonia Express organization.
With so much interest, members of some committees will have an average of 10 seconds to count each vote. – It is possible that some of the votes of foreign voters will be milled – warns the Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, Professor Wojciech Brzozowski.
Therefore, the Ombudsman appeals for committees not to have to count votes in elections and referendums at the same time. The authorities are adamant and see no risk. However, this does not change the fact that Poles will storm polling stations on Sunday.
Main photo source: TVN24