The Government Will Set Up 195 Special Polling Places For The Constitutional Referendum

A polling place in Cuba during a previous election. School children “guard” the ballot boxes and salute each voter as they cast their ballot.. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, February 5, 2019 — Cuba will set up 195 special polling places in transport facilities, hotels, and other spaces for voting in the referendum on the new constitution that will be held on February 24, official media reported this Monday.

The special polling places will be set up in bus and train terminals, airports, student residences, hospitals, and hotels with the aim of facilitating the voting of citizens.

The secretary of the National Electoral Commission (CEN), María Esther Bacallao, explained that those who cannot go to their assigned polling places for justified reasons will have the option to go “to a special one or some other one,” as reported by the state-owned Cuban News Agency.

Likewise, it indicated that people affected by the tornado that last week devastated several municipalities of Havana will have guaranteed participation in the constitutional referendum.

The CEN secretary specified that the installation of 25,348 polling places is anticipated, 7.6% of them located in private houses, and that districts will increase to 12,635 in the entire country.

On February 10 a dynamic test will be conducted at the polling places located abroad, prior to the votes scheduled for February 16 and 17.

A similar test will be applied at the polling places on the island on Sunday the 17th, one week before the referendum.

The final draft of the new constitution is made up of 229 articles, 11 headings, 2 special provisions, 13 transitory, and 2 final, after which were incorporated 760 amendments, which means that 60% of the first draft was modified.

Although political campaigns are not permitted, on social media the government and the pro-government organizations are carrying out an active promotion in favor of Yes, facing a sector of the citizenry that shows itself openly against it under the slogan #YoVotoNo (I’m voting no) or #YoNoVoto (I’m not voting).

In Cuba, with a population of 11.2 million inhabitants, more than eight million citizens are eligible to vote on the text of the new constitution that was submitted to a popular debate and in December was approved by the National Assembly.

Translated by: Sheilagh Carey


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