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Secrétariat général


Directorate General of Democracy and
Political Affairs

DIRECTORATE OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS

Project “Good Governance in the Information Society”

GGIS(2010)18
English only / anglais uniquement

Strasbourg, 19 November 2010

    Third meeting to review developments in the field
    of e-voting since the adoption of Recommendation Rec(2004)11 on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting

Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg
16-17 November 2010

PROGRESS MADE IN BULGARIA IN THE FIELD
OF E-VOTING DURING THE PERIOD 2004-2010

Contribution by Bulgaria

PROGRESS MADE IN BULGARIA IN THE FIELD
OF E-VOTING DURING THE PERIOD 2004-2010

Prof. Mihail Konstantinov1

The first version of the Bulgarian Draft Law on e-voting was prepared in 2004 immediately after the adoption (on 30 September 2004) of the Legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting by the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Council of Europe (the Draft is given in Appendix 1). At that time the potential of distant e-voting was estimated as reaching up to 500 000 voters. This Draft has been put in the agenda of two National Assemblies of Bulgaria (39-th NAB during 2001-2005 and 40-th NAB during 2005-2009) but has not been adopted since now. The Draft Law has also been considered by international specialists including members of the Multidisciplinary Ad hoc Group of specialists on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting (IP1-S-EE).
Meanwhile a version of an Electoral Code in Bulgaria has been considered by the 39-th National Assembly (2001-2005). At a time it received 160 votes (of a total of 240) but nevertheless this draft has also not been adopted. According to many analysts the Bulgarian politicians are slightly conservative towards the introduction of new ideas and technologies in the voting legislation and voting practice (an approach which has its good features as well).
During the 2009 Parliamentary elections an experimental e-voting by voting machines took place in only 9 polling stations all located in the capital Sofia. The results were satisfactory but it has been decided that this means of voting is not suitable because of the high price of its introduction in all 12 000 polling stations in the country and abroad. Here the not very successful experience with the use of voting machines in Netherlands and Germany has also been taken into account.
The 41-th National Assembly (2009-) started by a promise on behalf of the ruling party GERB to revive the idea of the Electoral Code and to reconsider modern means of voting as well. An Ad hoc inter-parliamentary group of 15 members of Parliament has been constituted including 3 members of each parliamentary represented political party and a number of experts in the field. After 9 months of work the Draft of the Electoral Code is now ready and is currently discussed in the Parliament and among politicians, analysts and journalists.
This Draft has a section devoted to the distant e-voting by Internet terminals, or briefly i-voting (see Appendix 2). Multiple vote cast and a decisive paper ballot vote cast are foreseen in order to reduce the effects of coerced voting. Meanwhile a nation-wide sociological study has revealed that 35%, or about 1 900 000, of the Bulgarian voters will use i-voting if and when it is introduced. Another one third of the voters is hesitating and the last one third most probably will not use this means of voting. Further analysis of the profile (age, education, gender, etc.) of voters ready to use i-voting shows that the data for Bulgaria is similar to the data for those member states of EU that had carried out such studies.
At the end of October 2011 General local elections as well as Presidential elections are scheduled. There is a common agreement to carry out the first round of the elections in one single day (probably 23 or 24 of October, 2011) with possible second rounds for both elections a week later. According to the plans, an experimental (restricted) i-voting pilot shall take place and the results shall be augmented with the results obtained by voting by paper ballots. The scale of this test is still to be determined.
As it is seen from Appendix 2, the option of voting by a personal voting code is chosen. The way of distributing of the voting codes among those included in the restricted e-voting pilot shall be determined later on.
As it is seen from the above brief analysis, the progress made in Bulgaria in the field of e-voting is still very modest. But this progress is also modest among many member states of the Council of Europe with Estonia being a good exception (all Estonian voters can vote by Internet if they so desire).

APPENDIX 1!

DRAFT LAW ON ELECTRONIC VOTING

September 30, 2004
(Presented to the 39-th and 40-th National Assemblies of Bulgaria)

General

Art. 1. This Law shall govern electronic voting for the purpose of holding elections and referenda.
Art. 2. (1) The following persons shall be eligible to vote electronically.

    1. Bulgarian citizens of 18 years of age on the day of voting which are not under legal interdiction and are not currently serving a prison sentence.
    2. Citizens of EU member countries who by virtue of law are eligible to vote in the respective kind of election or referendum.
    (2) In order to vote electronically, the voters shall file an application and a statement under this Law.

Art. 3. (1) Electronic voting shall be considered equal and shall take place simultaneously with paper ballot voting on the grounds of general, free, equal, secret and direct voting.
(2) The general requirements for paper-ballot voting shall apply and be obligatory in case of electronic voting.
Art. 4. The citizens shall have the choice to vote either electronically or by paper ballots.
Art. 5. The state authorities and the election officials shall carry out an information campaign on electronic voting in the national media and through the channels of e-government.
Art. 6. Electronic voting and voting data processing shall be observed and monitored by the Central Election Commission, the Regional Election Commissions and the specialized state administration.
Art. 7. All costs for the preparation and realization of electronic voting shall be borne by the state budget.

Electoral Regions and Authorities

Art. 8. (1) For the purpose of electronic voting, the territory of the country shall be subdivided into 31 electoral regions, corresponding to the regions respectively determined in the Law for Election of National Representatives and the Law for Election of President and Vice President of the Republic.
(2) The vote of each voter in the country under Art. 2, Par. 1, Item 1, shall be recorded in the electoral region of his/her permanent residence.
(3) The vote of each voter under Art. 2, Par. 1, Item 2, shall be recorded in the electoral region of his/her address of residence in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Art. 9. (1) Electronic voting shall take place under the control and methodical guidance of the Central Election Commission and the Regional Election Commissions, respectively appointed under the Law for Election of National Representatives, the Law for Election of President and Vice President of the Republic and the Law for Election of Members of European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) The Central Election Commission shall issue and publish in the State Gazette Methodical Guidance Instructions on Electronic Voting not later than 55 days before the day of the voting. The Instructions shall be sent to the Regional Election Commissions and the Regional administrations, and shall be published on the websites under Art. 15, Par. 1, and Art. 19, Par. 1.
Art. 10. (1) A specialized Technical Service and Electronic Voting Control Unit shall be set up at the Council of Ministers.
(2) The structure and functions of this unit shall be determined by a special act of the Council of Ministers.
(3) When carrying out their duties, members of the specialized unit shall be considered as acting in the capacity of officials with respect to the provisions of the Penal Code.

Electronic voting

Art. 11. (1) Electronic voting shall take place with the help of electronic means of communication and data processing included in a respective technical system.
(2) The technical system shall be designed, realized and maintained in a manner which:

    · shall ensure an easy and comprehensible access to the mechanisms and manner of electronic voting, and facilitated access of voters with disabilities;
    · shall provide on-line voters with instructions for the necessary steps required for e-voting;
    · shall provide for a permanent official contact with the electronic voter register;
    · shall ensure that only those persons eligible to vote and duly registered shall be able to vote;
    · shall ensure that voters using remote-voting channels shall not bear any additional costs exceeding the usual Internet and phone communication costs;
    · shall ensure reliable and quick identification of voters;
    · shall provide information equal in quality and volume to all political subjects taking part in the election;
    · shall guarantee the secret of the vote and respectively the free expression of the will of voters;
    · shall prevent the buying and manipulation of votes;
    · shall offer clear and discernible options for voting for different political subjects during political elections, or for various choices in referenda;
    · shall provide for an easy navigation in the user software and electronic ballot in particular;
    · shall not require specific skills other than those necessary for Internet and digital phone use;
    · shall allow for the use of standard browsers in the case of Internet voting terminals;
    · shall allow for electronic vote casting for a time period not exceeding three minutes;
    · shall guarantee that each voter shall cast only one vote in any kind of election and that each vote shall be stored and counted only one time;
    · shall be in agreement with the highest quality and durability standards of the applied hardware and software;
    · shall ensure the highest degree of reliability against external impact or unauthorized access, and shall include protection against hacker attacks;
    · in case of an interruption of voting due to insurmountable problems, the system shall store the votes cast and allow for the continuation of voting after the elimination of obstacles;
    · shall allow for preparing a summary of results and their transmission in an electronic format to the Regional Electoral Authorities and the Central Electoral Authority immediately after the termination of vote casting, however not later than 30 minutes after the moment of termination.
    · shall ensure the integrity and confidentiality of transmitted information through encryption of data and security of communications;
    · shall maintain electronic voting log recording any arising irregularity and deviation from the pre-set mode of operation;
    · shall allow for easy maintenance of hardware and fast elimination of any technical faults;
    · shall allow for monitoring by independent authorized bodies;
    · shall allow for an audit and inspection by authorized bodies;
    · shall allow for repeated use of the system within one month after the election.
    Art. 12. (1) Voters shall have the right to vote electronically only during the following elections:
    · elections for National representatives in a National Assembly or a Grand National Assembly;
    · elections for President and Vice President of the Republic;
    · elections for members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria.

(2) In the cases envisaged in a decision by the National Assembly on the holding of a referendum, voters shall have the right to express their choice by means of electronic voting.
Art. 13. Any voter shall be able to vote electronically through one of the following means:

      1. direct voting - through special devices in the polling stations;
      2. remote voting - through:

        a) Internet terminals,
        b) digital phones.

Art. 14. (1) When the possibility for electronic voting by means of a special device is provided for in a polling station under Art. 13, Item 1, the possibility for paper ballot voting should also be provided.
(2) When voting as set forth in Art. 13, Item 1, voters shall cast their vote by means of electronic ballot, realized through a visual, audio or tactile terminal.
(3) The electronic ballot shall offer the possibility not to choose a political subject participating in the elections.
Art. 15. (1) The election administration shall set up an interactive website not later than seven days after the date of an election has been fixed, providing for:

    · registration of voters who wish to vote electronically;
    · information in connection with the elections or referenda.

(2) The website shall be maintained for at least one month after the official publishing of election or referendum results.
(3) Voters wishing to vote electronically shall state their intention on the website not later than 21 days before the date of the election, indicating:

    · their name;
    · their ID number;
    · their postal address;
    · their electronic address, phone and fax numbers.

(4) Voters under the preceding Par. shall declare that they shall vote only through remote e-voting channels, and that they have been advised that shall not be able to vote in polling stations.
(5) The information under Par. (3) shall be processed and stored in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act.
(6) In polling stations, in the column for signatures in the register of voters, under Art. 3., the text "application for remote e-voting" or the abbreviation "AREV" shall be printed.
Art. 16. (1) After receiving an application under Art. 15, Par. 3, the election administration shall check whether the applicant is eligible to vote in accordance with the information contained in the ESGRAON database (the national citizen database).
(2) The electoral administration may request that the applicant provide additional information through the communication means he/she has indicated.
(3) After ascertaining that the applicant is eligible to vote, the electoral administration shall issue to him/her remote voting passwords. These passwords shall be sent by registered mail to the address provided by the applicant not later than eighteen days before the date of the election.
(4) Immediately after sending the passwords, the electoral administration shall inform the applicant through his electronic address or fax number.
Art. 17 (1) Voters under Art. 15, Par. (3) shall have the right to refuse e-voting.
(2) Voters shall state their refusal of e-voting through the website under Art. 15, Par. (1) by identifying themselves by means of their ID number and the passwords received under Art. 15, Par. (3) not later than 10 days before the date of voting.
(3) Voters under Par. (1) shall restore their eligibility to vote in a polling station according to their permanent address and the text under Art. 15, Par. (6) shall be deleted by the electoral administration.
Art. 18. (1) The election administration shall set up and maintain a register of voters who have applied for e-voting.
(2) The register shall contain the names of those who have cast their vote.
Art. 19. (1) The election administration shall set up and maintain on Internet a special website for voting through Internet terminals.
(2) This website shall provide information on all actions necessary for this type of voting.
(3) The website may provide balance information in equal format on the political subjects taking part in the elections.
(4) The website shall be maintains for 48 hours, and this period shall expire at 20:00 pm on election day.
Art. 20. Remote voting under the preceding Art. shall involve the following phases.

      1. Voters visit the electronic address of the website.
      2. Voters enter their ID number as a user name and use the passwords under Art. 16, Par. (3).
      3. In the case of three unsuccessful identification attempts, the access to the system shall be denied to the user for one hour.
      4. After successful identification under Item 2, the voter receives an electronic ballot, containing the same voting options as the paper ballot, with the option not to vote for any political subject participating in the election.
      5. After the voter has made his/her choice, the system requires him/her to confirm his/her vote.
      6. The voter can change his/her choice only once, and after this change a confirmation of the new choice shall be required.
      7. After the confirmation of the choice under Item 4 or 5, the vote shall be recorded and stored in the electronic ballot box.
      8. After the vote has been recorded in the electronic ballot box, the voter receives a message confirming the termination of the voting procedure.
      9. After the termination of voting, information on the choice made disappears from the terminal and is rendered inaccessible to the next user of this terminal.
      10. The information on the identity of the voter and his/her choice is deleted from the memory of the device used for voting.

Art. 21. (1) After completing the procedures under the preceding Art., the electronic vote shall be stored in the electronic ballot box.
(2) The votes stored in the electronic ballot box shall not contain information allowing the disclosure of the voter's identity.
Art. 22. (1) Immediately after the closing of the remote voting website, the data shall be summarized by the electoral districts and sent by fax or in electronic format signed with an electronic signature to the Regional Election Commission or to the Central Election Commission.
(2) Electronic votes including votes cast abroad shall be sent to the Regional Election Commissions in accordance with the respective permanent address of the voter.
Art. 23. (1) Citizens may also use remote voting channels by means of digital phones, as well as SMS messages.
(2) For the purpose of voting under the preceding Par., the election administration shall maintain multi-channel telephones through licensed digital phone, mobile phone and cable operators.
(3) The telephones shall be maintained for a period of 24 hours until the closure of polling stations on the territory of the country.
Art. 24. Remote voting under the preceding Art. shall involve the following stages:

      1. The voter dials the telephone number.
      2. The voter enters his ID number as a user name and uses the passwords under Art. 16, Par. (3).
      3. In the case of three unsuccessful identification attempts, the access to the system shall be denied to the user for one hour.
      4. After successful identification under Item 2, the voter receives information on the codes (numbers) of political subject participating in the election as well as the possibility of not choosing any of them.
      5. After the voter has made his/her choice through the code under the preceding Item, the system requires him/her to confirm his/her vote.
      6. The voter can change his/her choice only once, and after this change a confirmation of the new choice shall be required.
      7. After the confirmation of the choice, the vote shall be recorded and stored in the electronic ballot box and he/she receives a message confirming the termination of the voting procedure.
      8. After the vote has been received, the information about the voter's choice shall be inaccessible to other users of the digital phone.

    Art. 25. (1) After the closure of the remote voting telephones under Art. 23, Par. (2), the data shall be summarized by electoral regions and shall be sent by fax and in electronic format, signed with electronic signature, to the Regional Election Commissions and the Central Election Commission.

(2) Electronic votes including votes cast abroad, shall be sent to the Central Election Commission.

Data Processing by the Election Authorities

Art. 26. (1) The electronic voting data shall be filed in the Regional Election Commission’s record by political parties, coalitions and candidates, and the invalid votes shall also be indicated.
(2) Voting results by electoral regions and the country as a whole, shall be calculated by augmenting the data on paper ballot voting and electronic voting.
(3) Immediately upon signing the record, the Regional Election Commission shall forward it to the Central Election Commission in an electronic format signed with an electronic signature.
(4) The Regional Election Commissions shall send all electoral records to the Central Election Commission not later than 12 hours after signing the record.
Art. 27. (1) Current data and preliminary results of electronic voting and paper ballot voting shall be published in the Central Election Commission website immediately after being summarized by electoral regions.
(2) Electronic voting data by political parties, coalitions and candidates shall not be announced before 20:00 pm on the day of voting.
(3) The Central Election Commission may communicate data on the number and percent of voters voting electronically before the deadline specified in the preceding Par. Art. 28. The final voting results shall be published as follows.

    · Immediately after being announced, in the website under Art. 15, Par. 1, the website of the Central Election Commission, as well as in other e-government websites.
    · Not later than 30 days after being announced in the Central Election Commission Bulletin and on technical carriers.

Administrative and penal provisions

Art. 29. In case of violations of this Law, the administrative and penal provisions of the following Laws shall be applicable: Law for Election of National Representatives, Law for Election of President and Vice President of the Republic, Law for Election of Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria, Law on Personal Data Protection, and Penal Procedure Code.

Concluding provisions

1. In the context of this Act:

    · “right to vote” is the right under Art. 2, Par. 1;
    · “universal suffrage” is the right of each voter under Art. 2, Par. (1) to vote in a manner chosen by him/her and allowed by law;
    · “remote voting” is electronic voting through Internet terminals or digital telephones outside polling stations;
    · “electronic ballot” is a an electronic ballot model on a visual, audio or tactile terminal, which contains voting options equal to those of a paper ballot, as well as the additional option not to vote for any of the political subjects taking part in the elections;
    · “electronic voting” is voting by means of an electronic device at a specific phase of casting the vote;
    · “electronic vote” is a protected and anonymized choice of the voter in e-voting; the vote shall be considered valid when the choice made is for a political subject taking part in the elections, and invalid when the option has been chosen not to vote for any political subject;
    · “electronic ballot box” is an electronic device storing the electronic votes;
    · “voters” are citizens under Art. 2, Par. (1);
    · “election administration” are specialized state bodies, participating in the preparation and holding of elections, the Central Election Commission and the Regional Election Commissions;
    · “Internet terminals” are devices for logging on the Internet, such as personal computers, work stations etc.; the terminals may be visual, audio or tactile;
    · “non-remote voting” is electronic voting by means of specialized devices in polling stations and under the monitoring of the polling station electoral committee;
    · “password” is an individual digital access and identification code in remote e-voting;
    · “political subjects” are political parties, coalitions and candidates who have been admitted to taking part in the elections, and for whom the voter may cast his/her vote;
    · “direct suffrage” is the right to vote directly for bodies of the legislative and executive authorities;
    · “equal suffrage” is: a) the right to equality of the vote of each voter; b) equal access to the e-voting system of voters wishing to vote electronically and not necessarily of all voters;
    · “free suffrage” is the right of the voter to vote in a manner chosen by him, including e-voting, without any discrimination; at the same time “free” does not mean “free of charge”;
    · “specialized bodies of the state administration” are bodies under Art. 10, Par. (1) and the GRAO (Citizen Registration and Administrative Services) General Directorate at the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Affairs;
    · “secret suffrage” is the voter's right to vote without a connection being established between his/her identity and the content of the vote cast by him/her with the objective to guarantee his/her right to freely express his/her choice.

MOTIVES

A) Electronic voting has the objective of considerably increasing citizens' participation in elections or referenda by including:

    · voters with physical disabilities or illnesses, as well as elderly voters, who have problems going to the polling stations;
    · voters living abroad, as well as voters in Bulgaria, who on election day are not in the location of their permanent residence;
    · young voters for whom the electronic environment is natural, and who often do not vote in the traditional manner, i.e. by means of paper ballots;
    · voters who use modern communication and information technologies for business and household purposes.

B) An increased voting activity as a result of e-voting plays an important role in giving civil society a greater say in government and increasing trust in elected bodies and decisions taken at a referendum. The additional votes resulting from e-voting in Bulgaria may reach 500,000.
C) Electronic voting is at least as secure and reliable as paper ballot voting with regard to the voting procedures. Remote electronic voting is not less reliable than the worldwide practice of remote postal voting.
D) The counting of votes and the augmentation of e-voting data is more reliable as compared with similar procedures in paper ballot voting. The statement referring to this and the previous point is supported by the high technical requirements concerning the hardware and software components of the e-voting system, specified under Art. 11. Par. (2) and harmonized with the current European standards in this field.
E) Electronic voting meets to a considerable extent the requirements and needs of modern information and communications society, and its introduction and use is necessary from an objective point of view.
F) In electronic voting, the costs of casting and processing of votes are now similar to those of paper ballot voting (according to pilot project data from Ireland, the UK and Switzerland). With the wider use of e-voting in the future, the relative e-voting costs will fall considerably below those of paper ballot voting.
G) Electronic voting is being increasingly used throughout Europe and the world, and may soon become predominant. In Holland, over 95 percent of voters vote electronically. E-voting is also a feature of elections and referenda in some Swiss cantons. Electronic voting has been introduced in the UK, Ireland, France, Sweden, Germany and Spain. E-voting is also a practice in Mexico, Brazil and recently in India.
I) The meeting of the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Council of Europe member states in 2004 adopted a draft document setting standards and proposing recommendations on e-voting. This draft document takes into account the need of greater use of information and communication technologies in the election process, including e-voting. A meeting of the Committee of Ministers in September 2004 adopted the final version of the document according to which electronic voting shall become inseparable and important part of European election practices. In the course of the next years, member states will have to pay particular attention to e-voting, especially to bringing e-voting in line with the standards adopted in the above mentioned document. In this context, the question is not whether Bulgaria will introduce e-voting, but when and how this will happen. Beginning the preparation of this process now would give us an obvious advantage.2

ANALYSIS OF COUNTER ARGUMENTS

a) The argument that e-voting is difficult or even inaccessible for poorly educated people and some elderly voters is inconsistent because of the following reasons:

    · e-voting does not exclude paper ballot voting;
    · the experience of some countries which have problems with literacy (e.g. India) shows that poorly educated voters may find it easier to vote by voting machines than with paper ballots.

b) The argument that e-voting widens the gap between well educated and poorly educated citizens thus discriminating the latter is inconsistent as well. This gap does exist and should be narrowed and even eliminated in the future, however this should not be done by restricting the access to modern information and communication technology but rather by widening this access.
c) The argument that e-voting is too expensive is not convincing. The costs of casting and processing an electronic vote are greater than those of paper ballot voting only with small pilot projects where costs include the price for developing the system. In case of a greater share of e-voting, the costs become comparable, and with a further increase of this share, e-voting costs fall below those for paper ballot voting.

APPENDIX 2

(Provisions for electronic voting by Internet included in the Draft of the Electoral Code
of Bulgaria presented to the 41-st National Assembly)

PART XIII

Art. 203 (1) When conducting all types of elections a voter may vote electronically by Internet.
(2) The voting according to Par. 1 is distant and is realized within the terms described in Art. 206, Par. 2, prior to the voting by paper ballots.
(3) The general requirements for paper-ballot voting shall apply and be obligatory in case of electronic voting by Internet.
(4) The Central Election Commission, the Regional Election Commissions and the Municipality Election Commissions exercise control on the electronic voting by Internet and on the possessing of the results.
(5) The costs for the preparation and realization of electronic voting shall be borne by the state budget.
(6) A Sub-Commission within the Central Election Commission is constituted in order to carry out the electronic voting by Internet.

Art. 204 (1) The persons satisfying the conditions described in Art. 3, Par. 1,2 and 3, shall be eligible to vote electronically by Internet.
(2) The electronic voting by Internet is realized through the website of the Central Election Commission.
(3) Only voters who had made a preliminary application and had been registered shall be eligible to vote electronically by Internet.
(4) The electronic voting by Internet is done in person.
Art. 5 (1) Not later than 5 days after the elections are declared the Central Election Commission shall open an Internet site for:

    a) registration of voters who want to vote electronically by Internet;
    b) submitting information about the elections and the electronic voting by Internet.

(2) A voter who wants to vote electronically by Internet declares this fact through the site described in Par. 1 not later that 18 days before the elections; the voter shows his/her names according to the identity document, the personal code, the permanent address and address of residence (if different from the permanent address), electronic address and telephone number.
(3) The data described in Par. 2 are processed under the requirement of the Law for Protection.
(4) Not later than 14 days prior to the elections the Central Election Commission notifies the bodies specified in Art. 40, Par. 1 as well as the Heads of the Embassies for the preliminary registration for electronic voting by Internet in order to put a record “electronic voting by Internet” against the name of the voter in the voter list.

Art. 206. (1) After the registration of for electronic voting by Internet the voter receives a code (a password) for voting from the Central Election Commission.
(2) The electronic voting by Internet starts not later than five days prior to the elections and is concluded 48 hours before the day of elections.

Art. 207. (1) When voting electronically by Internet the voter is identified in a way which allows the unique identification of its personality.
(2) After the identification the voter receives an electronic ballot on the Internet terminal.
(3) The voter marks his/her vote for corresponding political subject as well as his/her preference (if any) in elections for members of the National Parliament and members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria. In elections for President and Vice President of the Republic and for members of municipality councils and mayors, the voter marks his/her choice for the corresponding candidate list.
(4) The voter may change his/her vote by a second voting during the term according to Art. 206, Par. 2. In this case the result of the first voting is annulated.

Art. 208. (1) After the voting according to Art. 207 the electronic vote is preserved in an electronic ballot box.
(2) The electronic votes preserved in the electronic ballot box shall not contain information allowing the disclosure of the identity of the voter.

Art. 209. (1) A voter who had declared that he/she shall vote electronically by Internet may vote in the polling station according to his/her permanent address (address of residence) in the day of elections after presenting an identity document and the voting code (pass).
(2) The polling station shall be equipped by a computer connected to the database of the Central Election Commission.
(3) The polling station commission makes a check through the Central Election Commission whether the voter has voted electronically by Internet. When the voter has voted electronically by Internet he is allowed to vote in the polling station described in Par. 1 by a paper vote after his/her electronic vote has been annulated.

There are also provisions describing how to augment the votes obtained by paper ballots and by electronic voting by Internet.


1 Member of the Central Election Commission of Bulgaria and expert with the Ad hoc Parliamentary commission for preparing the Electoral Code in the 41 National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, e-mail: mmk_fte@uacg.bg, mikon@mail.bg, webpage: http://uacg.bg/pw/mmk.

2 This has been written in 2004. Unfortunately the progress made since then is still very modest.