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Voter concerns rise ahead of June 9 double election in Cyprus

As two election concurrently occur there is much confusion among the Cypriot populace.
As two election concurrently occur there is much confusion among the Cypriot populace. Copyright Petros Karadjias/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Petros Karadjias/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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Concerns are mounting in Cyprus over potential voter confusion, increased blank and invalid ballots, and high abstention rates as the double election on June 9 approaches.

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As Cyprus prepares for a double election on June 9, there is growing concern over a potential increase in blank and invalid ballots, alongside significant voter abstention.

These issues are linked to a local government reform that requires voters to cast between six to ten ballots, a complexity that has frustrated both voters and election participants.

Fears of high abstention and invalid ballots

Given the likelihood of voter confusion — many of whom seek information at the last minute — state and party mechanisms have been diligently working for months to educate the electorate. Efforts to address voter questions about the process continue as election day nears.

Political parties and the Ministry of Interior in Cyprus are worried that voters might only select candidates they recognise, leaving the rest of the ballots blank. This has led to concerns about an increase in "white ballots," referring to those that are left blank.

There are fears that many ballots might be invalidated due to voter confusion, and long queues at polling stations could lead to higher abstention rates, especially given the expected high temperatures on election day.

Voting complexities in occupied municipalities

High abstention rates are also expected in occupied municipalities and communities, as refugees will need to vote at a second polling station for their place of displacement.

For example, a refugee from Omorfita (occupied Nicosia) now living in Latsia will need to vote in ten elections.

They will receive six ballots at a polling station in Latsia for various local and European elections and four more at a second polling station for elections in the new municipality of Nicosia.

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