Expats Caused Discrepancy in Bulgarian Voters StatsEnergy | January 25, 2013, Friday // 15:29| views
Bulgaria's Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Lilyana Pavlova, says Bulgarians abroad have the right to vote and the law bans removing them from the lists. Photo by BGNES
The discrepancy of about 800 000 people between the Civil Registry's official number of people entitled to vote and data of the national statistics is attributed to voters abroad having permanent addresses in Bulgaria.
The explanation was offered Friday by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Lilyana Pavlova.
According to Bulgaria's Civil Registration and Administrative Services Department (GRAO), the total number of people included in the electoral roll for the upcoming referendum is 6 949 120.
According to data of the National Statistics Institute, NSI, by September 30, 2012, Bulgaria's population aged 18-plus amounts to a total of 6 119 757.
Pavlova says Bulgarians abroad have the right to vote and the law bans removing them from the lists.
NSI counts all Bulgarians of voting age in the country, while GRAO – all having a permanent address in Bulgaria, leading to the 11% difference.
The Minister, however, admitted she harbored suspicions about the number of voters over age of 100 years listed by GRAO – a total of 668, of whom 56 are over the age of 110 and some are 120-year-old.
She had sent a request to all local mayors to verify if these people are indeed alive or simply a number of death acts are missing.
The mayors told her that relatives failing to present death acts or lack of living relatives, probably led to the suspicious number because when there is no such act, municipalities cannot take anyone from the list.
It is also likely that other people, under the age of 100, who have died, are also listed as voters for the above reasons.
It emerged that no one in the country knows the exact number of these voters.