In a significant step toward electoral reform, public consultation has commenced on a much-anticipated draft bill that aims to establish a comprehensive framework for Greek citizens to participate in absentee or mail-in voting.
The proposed legislation not only addresses the absentee voting process, but also introduces changes to the election procedures for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and addresses the need for updating voter rolls, with a focus on eliminating names of deceased individuals.
The central feature of the bill grants Greek citizens the option to either cast their votes in person or utilise the mail-in voting method. Those citizens residing outside Greece during elections will be required to send their ballots to designated first-instance courts for counting, as no expatriate voting precincts are currently envisioned.
The public debate phase of this legislative process is set to conclude on January 10.
According to the provisions outlined in the draft law, absentee ballots will be tabulated concurrently with those cast in person across the country. If the bill is ratified, the new mail-in voting framework will also be applicable to European Parliament elections and referendums.
To exercise the right to vote by mail, citizens must register electronically on a designated online platform using their personal tax bureau codes. The registration process includes providing details such as a mailing address for election materials, a valid mobile phone number, and email. The latter will be crucial for identity confirmation through one-time OTP codes.
The application deadline for mail-in voting is set at 40 days before any scheduled election.
Granting Greek citizens the ability to vote from abroad was a key commitment made by the current center-right Mitsotakis government and stands as a prominent feature in this comprehensive electoral reform proposal.