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Central Election Commission Conducts Experiments with Protected Paper for Machine-Voting Ballots

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The Central Election Commission (CEC) has successfully conducted experiments with protected paper for machine-voting ballots, the CEC said in a press release on Monday.  
The practical experiment was carried out after the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) printing works supplied test rolls of paper.
Paper with various options of protection was tested on specialized electronic-machine voting devices on which a demo version of the voting software used at the October 2, 2022 parliamentary elections was installed. 
The CEC was obliged to conduct the experiments within three months after the December 2, 2022 adoption of the latest act amending the Election Code.
According to the revisions, the machines will print out paper ballots instead of voter-verified paper records, and these ballots must be protected by print security features, must be produced by the BNB printing works, and will be counted by hand like the manually marked ones.
At the end of 2022, the BNB said in an opinion that the manufacture of delivery of machine-voting ballot paper will take months. The timeframe for procurement of such paper is a factor that President Rumen Radev will have to consider when setting a date for the next early parliamentary elections, now that the third and last cabinet-forming mandate has failed.
Radev will hold a working meeting with senior CEC representatives on Tuesday, the head of State’s Press Secretariat said on Monday.

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