By Angelos Anastasiou
ALL IS in order for tomorrow’s European Parliament ballot, the election service announced on Friday, amid cries of foul play by Turkish Cypriots, thousands of whom have found themselves excluded from the electoral roll.
At a news conference, Elections Commissioner Constantinos Nicolaides said that final results should be available by 8.30 pm tomorrow evening, given no unexpected issues. But the results cannot be announced until ballots have closed around Europe at midnight.
According to Nicolaides, the total number of registered voters is 606,916, which sets a record for Cypriot elections.
They will be voting at 1,087 election centres, of which 50 have been set up in areas near the buffer zone for Turkish Cypriot voters who reside in the occupied areas.
Polls will be open from 7am to 6 pm, with a one-hour break at noon. In case of sudden voter inflows near closing times, the person presiding over the poll station may extend voting time until midnight.
Nicolaides said that election campaigns, gatherings and partisan activities should have ended last night at midnight by law.
He explained that Cypriot voters cannot vote without presenting their voting card or identity card. Similarly, EU nationals need to present the document used in registering them on the electoral roll.
“District offices will accept applications to replace lost voting cards and IDs until 1 pm Saturday,” he said.
Voters can obtain information on their electoral centre from the government website wtv.elections.moi.gov.cy and the information hotline 77772212.
Ballots will only be valid if appropriately sealed with the Republic’s stamp, Nikolaides said.
Voting options are symbols ‘+’ or ‘x’ or ‘√’ only in blue or black ink, and should be placed in the large box under the preferred party, or the box next to independent candidates’ names. Voters may state their preference of up to two candidates by noting one of these symbols in the box next to the candidates’ name. Candidate preference is not mandatory, but noting more than two preferred candidates will render such preference invalid while maintaining the party vote.
Ballots will be invalidated if they do not bear the Republic’s official seal, or when voters’ preference cannot be established – as with blank ballots – or when voters mark more than two parties or independent candidates on the ballot, or when voters mark a symbol other than the three permitted symbols.