The stage has been set for the upcoming presidential elections, Chief Returning Officer Costas Constantinou said on Friday during a press conference held at the Theofilos Georgiadis amphitheatre in Nicosia.
Constantinou said that at the moment there are a total of 561,033 people with the right to vote on Sunday, including 730 Turkish Cypriots and 240 people in jail – 47 in Nicosia and 193 in the Famagusta district. A further 10,346 people are registered at polling stations abroad.
Nicosia has the largest number of registered voters with 215,772, followed by Limassol with 154,778, Larnaca with 95,518, Paphos with 51,994 and Famagusta with 32,625. Constantinou said.
Of the total number of registered voters, 285,004, corresponding to 50.8 per cent of the total, are women and 276,029 are men.
13.8 per cent of voters are 18 to 29 years old, 50.4 per cent are 30 to 59 years old, and 35.8 per cent are 60 or older.
Constantinou added that the total number of polling stations operating during the presidential elections amounts to 1,148, of which 1,113 are in Cyprus and 35 abroad, divided in 12 countries and 25 cities.
Nicosia has 415 polling stations, followed by Limassol with 323, Larnaca with 185, Paphos with 133 and Famagusta with 57.
The polling station with the largest number of registered voters is located at the Eleneio Primary School in Nicosia with 716 people. The smallest one is in the village of Palaiomylos, near Troodos, with 48.
Jailed people will also be allowed to vote on election day by casting their preference inside a special ballot box located inside the prison.
The Chief Returning Officer also added that a total of 8,046 civil servants, police officers and unemployed graduates will be working at polling stations during the elections.
Each polling station will be staffed by the presiding officer and by two to four assistants, depending on the number of registered voters, as well as a police officer.
“Everyone working at polling station in Cyprus and abroad has received the appropriate training, both as far as the electoral process and the health protocols are concerned,” Constantinou assured.
Polling stations for the presidential elections on Sunday February 5 will open at 7am and close at 6pm, with a break between noon and 1pm.
If there is a second round, polling stations will operate for the same hours the following Sunday.
Voters are forbidden from using their mobile phones inside polling stations.
Only the presiding officer of each polling station will be allowed to use a mobile phone, and exclusively to communicate with other election officials elsewhere.
The presiding officer will have the power to remove from the polling station anyone using their mobile phone, with strict instructions to not rule out the arrest of these persons.
To exercise their right to vote, people need only to mark the box located below the preferred candidate’s photo with an “x” or “+” or “√”.
Blind people or people with physical disabilities may request the help of a person of absolute confidence or of the presiding officer.
The sorting and counting of votes will take place at the polling stations, immediately after their closure.
The presence of the candidates or their representatives is allowed, but not their involvement with the ballots.
Moreover, journalists will not be allowed to enter polling stations, except after being granted direct and specific permission by the Chief Returning Officer.
On Friday, the health ministry said that people who are isolating due to Covid-19 and are not well enough to go and vote alone, can get someone to take them.
Those who choose to visit a polling station this way should use a double surgical mask or an FFP2 / KN95 or N95 mask.
The person who has Covid should sit in the back seat of the car with open windows if possible.
They must observe personal hygiene protocols and immediately return to their isolation space after voting, the ministry said.