By 19.00h, 5.15% of voters have cast their ballot in the referendum to redefine the family, according to the figures centralized by the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).
The total number of people who voted by 19.00h was of 942,381, out of which 578,301 people voted in the urban area and 364,080 in the rural area.
Overall, 942,381 voters have voted in the first 12 hours since the opening of the ballot boxes, of which 578,301 (61.3%) in the urban area and 364,080 (39.7%) in rural areas.
A highest turnout was registered in Dâmboviţa County – 7.78%, Bihor – 7.61%, Dolj – 6.90%, Mehedinţi – 6.67% and Caras Severin -6.55%.
In Bucharest the turnout was of 5.88%.
The lowest turnout was in Harghita – 2.03%, Covasna – 2.11%, Satu Mare – 3.04%, Maramures – 3.27% and Tulcea – 3.62%.
36,942 people voted in Diaspora, most of them in Valencia-278.
In 2009, at the referendum to Ok the one-chamber Parliament and to cut the number of MPs to 300, the turnout at the same hour was 46.84%.
In 2012, the turnout at the referendum to suspend the president at that time, Traian Basescu, was 37.67% at 8 p.m.
The difference is that the family referendum now takes place on two days, Saturday and Sunday, between 7.00h and 21.00h.
There are 18,662 polling stations established countrywide, with 1,264 of them in Bucharest. Romanians living abroad will be able to vote in 378 polling stations: 192 of them are in Romania’s diplomatic missions, consular offices and cultural institutes based in those countries, while another 186 in other locations. Most of the polling stations abroad will be in Italy (58), Spain (48), Republic of Moldova (35), USA (32), UK (19), France (15) and Germany (14).
Citizens who have the right to vote and are in other locality than the one of residence can cast their votes in any polling station in the country based on his/her ID card.
The family referendum was requested by the Coalition for Family following 3 million signatures. The citizen initiative has been passed by the Parliament.
According to law 3/2000, the national referendum needs a turnout of at least 30pc of the voters and the outcome is validated if the options represent at least 25% of those registered to vote on permanent lists.
Dragnea, Basescu, faced the same “shaking hands denial” incident
PSD chairman went to cast his vote at “Jean Monnet” school in Bucharest, without his fiance, Irina. Two members of the polling station committee refused to shake hands with him and to greet him.
One of them is Mihai Sebastian Cerga, USR representative and the second is the representative of the National Liberal Party.
In retort, the Social Democrat leader said the two haven’t been taught manners.
The former Romanian President, Traian Basescu, faced the same incident while coming to the same polling station to cast his vote, together with his wife. Upon leaving, the same USR representative, Mihai Cerga, refused to shake hands with Basescu. The former head of state commented: “stupidity cannot bother you, you can only pity it”.
Fraud attempts and ballot paper theft
The Interior Ministry reported that 29 complaints and crimes related to the referendum have bee nreported in the first 10 hours of the voting on Saturday, but only four of them have confirmed to be real. Fines worth RON 6,100 have been applied.
In Dolj county, an employee of the town hall has been caught carrying 17 ID cards with the “voted” sticker on them. Investigators found out that the woman had picked up the IS cards of some villagers and had voted in their place.
In Bucharest, a man tried to run away with 80 ballot papers. A woman, member of the electoral bureau of a polling station in the Capital has filed a complaint that a man had taken out over 80 ballot papers from the table and would have tried to run away with them. The man has been immediately caught by the gendarmes and he now has a criminal record for theft.