1.3 million referendum votes from abroad arrived in Ankara

1.3 million referendum votes from abroad arrived in Ankara

1.3 million referendum votes from abroad arrived in Ankara

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Diplomatic bags carrying 1.33 million votes of Turkish citizens living abroad have arrived in the capital Ankara, waiting to be counted on April 16, the day of the referendum on whether to shift the country to an executive presidential system of government.

In accordance with the Supreme Election Board’s planning, 728 bags have arrived in Ankara containing the voting papers of Turkish citizens living abroad who have cast ballots in 120 diplomatic missions in 57 different countries.

Brought by diplomatic couriers from different international locations, some 3,210 sealed bags containing voting papers are being prepared to be counted on the referendum day at the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) Congressium Fair and Congress Center.

The papers are now being placed separately in 903 transparent ballots, which will be secured in five different high-security rooms at the center until the voting process in Turkey ends at 17.00 on April 16. The counting process of the papers will then commence, just domestic voting ends.

47 percent of voters cast a ballot

There are 2.97 million Turkish voters registered abroad, and interest in the referendum is up on previous elections. Some 1.33 million voters have cast a ballot for the referendum, up from 1.26 million cast in the Nov. 1, 2015 general election.

Between March 27 and April 9, some 47 percent of Turkish citizens who are registered to vote abroad headed to the polls.

Apart from diplomatic missions, they were also able to vote at 31 customs gates with Turkey. The voting process for the customs gates will continue until April 16. As of April 10, the number of votes cast from customs gates is estimated to be around 50,000.