Family referendum turnout - 2.54% of the total eligible voters showed up in polls in first 6 hours
REFERENDUM – Nearly 19 million Romanian voters are invited today and tomorrow to vote on a proposed redefinition of the concept of family in the Constitution. The initiators aim to define “family” as an institution based on the marriage of a man and a woman, rather than the marriage of spouses, as it is at present. According to data released by the Central Electoral Bureau, in the first 6 hours of the vote 2.54% of the total eligible voters showed up in polls, namely 464,668 people, of which 292,556 votes were reported in towns and cities and 172,668 in rural communities. According to the Bureau, 2.88% of the voters registered in Bucharest have cast their ballots, while 11,666 Romanian citizens have voted abroad. Parliament has passed a bill rephrasing the Constitutional definition of marriage, based on a citizen initiative signed by 3 million people. The referendum sparked fiery debates between the initiators, a Christian coalition primarily supported by the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the promoters of sexual minority rights. The Romanians living abroad can vote in 378 polls hosted by diplomatic missions, consular offices, cultural institutes and other locations. The largest number of polls abroad will be in Italy, Spain, the Republic of Moldova, the USA, UK, France and Germany. The vote in the diaspora started on Friday night in Auckland, New Zealand. On the whole, the vote abroad will take 58 hours. The voting process abroad will conclude on the US West Coast and in Canada on Monday morning, according to Romanian time. The referendum will be validated provided that a 30% turnout rate is met and 25% of the eligible voters cast valid votes.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)