(DF) Central Election Commission Decides Voter-Verified Paper Records Will Be Counted by 30% of Section Election Commissions

November 9 (BTA) – Voter-verified paper records from the voting machines will be counted by 30 per cent of the section election commissions which will be chosen randomly by the Central Election Commission (CEC), it decided in Tuesday. Two proposals were rejected: that the voter-verified paper records be counted at CEC using a method and technology specified in a separate decision and that 100 per cent of the section election commissions count the paper records. Last week the Supreme Administrative Court overturned CEC’s decision that the section election commissions must count manually all paper records from the voting machines in the November 14 elections for Bulgarian Parliament and President. The court ruled that the data on the voter-verified paper records are not part of the official tally sheets and that CEC can order a control count of a proportion of paper records specified by it but this count cannot have a bearing on the election results. CEC’s decision for a mandatory manual count of all voter-verified paper records was challenged by Rise Up BG!, Democratic Bulgaria, and Continue the Change on the grounds that it would mirror the manual count of paper ballots in earlier elections and would thus render pointless machine voting. Bulgaria introduced machine voting in all sections with more than 300 voters in the snap parliamentary elections on July 11, 2021. ZH/DD