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Knowing how and where to vote

Chief Returning Officer Constantinos Nicolaides announces the latest instructions on how to vote

ELIGIBLE voters in Sunday’s legislative elections may vote upon presentation of their Cypriot identity card or voting booklet, which they may renew at their local district commissioner’s office until 1 pm on Saturday, Chief Returning Officer Constantinos Nicolaides said on Friday.

Speaking at a news conference marking the official closing of the election campaign, Nicolaides said voters should be aware of the polling station they are listed to vote in, and warned that the use of mobile phones inside the polling stations is strictly prohibited.

Voters, Nicolaides added, are encouraged to use the pens provided in polling booths, because use of any other colour of ink – besides blue or black – will render their ballot null.

A voter can indicate his choice of party and candidate or candidates on the ballot by printing the symbols of ‘+’, ‘X’, or ‘√’ in the large square box under the preferred party, or in the square next to the independent candidate of choice. Voters who wish to indicate preference to particular candidates under the umbrella of a party may also use one of the aforementioned symbols in the square next to the name of the candidate.

The maximum number of candidates one may vote for is five in Nicosia, three in Limassol and Famagusta, two in Larnaca, and one in Paphos and Kyrenia. Though such ‘preference voting’ is not mandatory, all candidates must be from the same party.

Party leaders, Nicolaides noted, do not require individual votes in order to secure election, which is why there will be no square next to their names.

Votes will be counted at each polling centre, and initial results are expected to be announced at 11 pm.

The total number of registered voters is 542,915, Nicolaides added, noting that, at 12,000 over the number of eligible voters in 2011’s legislative elections, this number comprises the single largest electoral body ever in Cyprus.

Among the eligible voters are 70 enclaved individuals in the Kyrenia district and 201 in Famagusta.

A total of 1,136 polling stations will operate on Sunday, not including 13 additional ones that will be set up for the election of minority representatives for the Maronites and Latins. There will be no election for the Armenians as there was only one candidate.

According to Nicolaides, voting will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on Sunday, with a one-hour break from noon till 1 pm.

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