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Greece enters the postal vote era – Over 200,000 register for postal voting in Euro elections across the globe

The first part of postal voting for the June European elections was completed on Monday with the relevant platform receiving applications closing one minute before Monday midnight (Greek time). 

By late Monday, 190,382 citizens from 127 countries had registered on the platform for postal voting – which is being implemented for the first time in an election in Greece.

The largest proportion – about 75% – of registrations came from within Greece and 25% from abroad, of which 84.5% reside in Europe.

The highest number of registrations by country came from residents of Germany (8,756), the United Kingdom (8,315), the United States (3,613), Belgium (3,233) and the Netherlands (2,849).

Expatriates living in countries where no polling stations were set up in last year’s parliamentary elections, as the required number was not filled, will also be able to vote in the June elections.

These countries include Angola, Botswana, Zambia, Papua New Guinea, Djibouti, Barbados, Ghana, El Salvador, Ivory Coast and Zambia.

The percentage of people registered on the platform is similar across all age groups, as is that of men and women. 

The most odious part of the process starts on Wednesday as thousands of voting envelopes must be dispatched to voters in Greece and mainly abroad.

The envelopes will travel from Greece to various countries around the world, and returned by election day.

The envelopes will be sent by the Ministry of Interior through partner courier companies in May.

They will include a postal ballot return envelope, a ballot paper with all the parties, a voting envelope which will be anonymous, an instruction form, a list of candidates and an application form which must be completed.

Meanwhile, questions were raised by the attempted break-in at the office of the chief electoral officer at Evangelistria Street in Athens last Friday. Police sources said the incident resembled burglaries that often occur in public buildings downtown, usually midday. 

The deadline for registration on the postal voting platform expired at midnight on Monday, with the final number of registrants surpassing 200,000 from Greece and 127 other countries.

According to the Interior Ministry’s final data, registered voters for postal voting in the upcoming European elections on June 9 reached 202,556. Of these, 153,322 (75.7%) are residents of Greece and 49,234 (24.3%) are Greeks residing abroad with voting rights in Greece.

Germany recorded the highest number of registrations, with 9,578 Greeks applying to participate in the European Parliament elections via postal vote.

Close behind was the United Kingdom, with 9,090 Greek voters entering their details on the platform. The United States followed with 3,857 registrations, then Belgium (3,491), the Netherlands (3,119) and Cyprus (2,808), according to the final tally released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the early hours of Tuesday.

Among the registered voters are Greeks residing in countries where participation in national elections in 2023 was not feasible due to the lack of a polling station in their area. Examples include American Samoa, Djibouti, Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, El Salvador and Zambia.