In European elections, voters can vote anywhere and know if there are queues

It is “another instrument to combat abstention”, explains Fernando Anastácio

Voters will be able to vote in the European elections wherever they are on June 09th and even find out if there are queues at the tables where they want to exercise their right to vote.

To Lusa, the spokesperson for the National Elections Commission (CNE), Fernando Anastácio, explained that voters will be able to find out 'online' and "at the moment" if there are queues to vote on June 09th.

It is “another instrument to combat abstention”, trying to motivate voters to vote in an election with historic abstentions and which this year takes place on the eve of the Portugal Day holiday and mini-holiday period, he said.

On election day, the turnout at the different polling stations will be available “online” at the moment and will allow “a citizen to check, in the area where he is, which tables have the least turnout and, therefore, precisely avoid the crowds”, he explained.

Portugal recorded, in the 2019 European Championships, the worst abstention rate (68,6%) since it joined the European Union, in contrast to participation in Europe – around 50%.

To try to reverse this trend – in addition to the early voting of sick people, prisoners and those abroad, or the mobility vote, on the previous Sunday (June 02nd) – this year there is a new modality, only possible because there are “dematerialized electoral registers”.

Any registered voter in Portugal can vote “without being in the place where they are registered”, he explained.

“You can choose without any pre-registration conditions, for example, you live in Lisbon, you are registered in Lisbon, but on the 09th you are in Porto, you can choose to go to any polling station in Porto: present yourself at the polling station vote, identify yourself with your citizen card or a document that is considered valid for identification purposes and exercise your right to vote”, he said.

The elections were scheduled at European level for the period from June 06th to 09th.

And this is, according to the CNE spokesperson, “a particularly difficult period for Portugal”, as it coincides with “a week that is usually a mini-holiday period.