Eurobarometer: What Romanians fear the most in elections?

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Romanians are among the most concerned Europeans regarding the transparency of elections. They would also like to be more informed about the elections and that more youngsters should run in the elections in order to be motivated to come to the polls, reveals the latest Eurobarometer released on November 26.

Between the 8th and the 26th of September 2018, Kantar Public Brussels on behalf on Kantar Belgium carried out the wave 90.1 of the EUROBAROMETER survey, at the request of the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers. It is a survey coordinated by the Directorate-General for Communication, “Media monitoring, media analysis and Eurobarometer” Unit.  The wave 90.1 includes the SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 477 and covers the population of the respective nationalities of the European Union Member States, resident in each of the 28 Member States and aged 15 years and over.

The Romanians’ highest concern related to the elections is the one about people voting who are not entitled to vote. Compared to Europeans, Romanians fear the most on this chapter, much above the EU average (66% compared to 45% the average across EU). At the same time, Romanians fear the multiple vote, the manipulation of elections and votes that are bought.

The majority of the EU respondents were concerned about a range of potential electoral interferences.

Respondents were asked how concerned they were about a number of things that could affect elections in Europe12. More than six in ten (61%) were concerned about elections being manipulated through cyberattacks, with 24% saying they were ‘very concerned’ about this. Almost as many (59%) were concerned about foreign actors and criminal groups influencing elections covertly, with 22% ‘very concerned’ by this.  More than half (56%) of all respondents were concerned about the final result of an election being manipulated, with 21% saying they were ‘very concerned’. Almost as many (55%) were concerned about votes being bought or sold: 22% were very concerned about this possibility. Just over half (52%) were concerned about people being coerced to vote in a particular way, and almost one in five (19%) were ‘very concerned’ about this.  More than four in ten (45%) said they were concerned about people voting who are not entitled to vote, with 16% ‘very concerned’ about this possibility. Finally, 44% were concerned about some people voting twice: 17% said they were ‘very concerned’ by this.

So, the highest concerns for Romanians are:

  • People voting who are not entitled to vote -66%, with Romanians ranking first on this chapter.
  • People voting twice- 62% of the Romanians, the second result in the EU (where the average is 44%).
  • People being coerced into voting in a particular way- 66% of the Romanians, the third results in thee EU, with an average of 52%.
  • Elections being manipulated through cyberattacks-66%, Romanians rank third in the EU, after Spain and UK, as against an EU average of 61%.
  • Foreign actors and criminal groups influencing the elections- 62% of the Romanians, against an EU average of 59%.
  • The final results of elections being manipulated- 70% of the Romanians as against a 56% EU average.
  • Votes being sold or bought- 68% of the Romanians, the fifth result in the EU, compared to a 55% EU average.

What would make Romanians come to polls? More numerous young candidates (42%), a better information on the EU and the EU impact on their lives (42%), more women among candidates (14%), more candidates from the political groups that are not represented very well (13%) and more candidates of different nationalities (11%).

If living abroad, Romanians prefer to vote at the embassies/consulates (43%), while 32% would prefer the online voting.

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