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Greece: Mail votes from Chios to Papua New Guinea

The envelopes of the postal vote are traveling across the globe so that Greek citizens in 128 countries participate in the upcoming European elections. Destinations include a diverse mix of countries from Haiti and Saint Barthelemy in the Americas, Azerbaijan, Vietnam and Oman in Asia, Kenya and Congo in Africa to Papua New Guinea in Oceania.

By late Tuesday evening one in two voters had already received the envelope with the material to participate in the European elections on June 9.

Out of a total of 202,515 voters who registered through the relevant platform – 152,311 within Greece and 50,204 residents abroad – more than 110,000 voters have received the material. 

The postal vote “experiment” is being implemented for the first time in Greece and is a final rehearsal for its adoption in other elections, most notably in national elections.

“This is an extremely large-scale project that has been implemented with complete success so far,” said Interior Minister Niki Kerameus.

“The postal vote is here to stay. With the procedure being implemented for the European elections, the foundations are being laid for a similar system to be implemented, with the rectifications that will be required for the national elections as well,” she said. 

All voters should receive their voting materials in the next few days as the process of providing them began last Thursday and is reportedly moving along smoothly. Voting can take place on the same day if the voter has the envelope already and has told the courier service to pick it up. The envelope can only be picked up by the voter or another authorized individual, and identification is done using a unique pin number in addition to the ID card.

The envelopes with the votes are collected without being opened at a special sorting center and will be incorporated into the ballots on election day. The counting of all votes for the European elections will begin when the polls close at 7 p.m.

Around 40 people who had registered to vote will not be able to as they reside in countries in a state of war and cannot have their election materials delivered to them. In addition, around 1,000 people registered on the platform from Greece but indicated that they wished to vote from another country where they would be at the time.

According to the Interior Ministry, these people were initially registered on the platform as domestic voters but were eventually counted as international voters.