Polling stations for voting in early parliamentary elections in Ukraine opened at 8 a.m. on Sunday.
A total of 32,086 polling stations have been set up in Ukraine, 30,720 of them ordinary and 1,366 special. Besides, 112 polling stations were opened abroad with the greatest number of them being set up in Russia (6), Germany (5), the United States, Poland and Italy - four in each of them.
A total of 213 constituencies were established in Ukraine, excluding Crimea and Sevastopol, with 21 of them in Donetsk region and 11 - in Luhansk region. However, according to the Central Elections Commission (CEC), ballots were not delivered to nine and six district commissions respectively; therefore elections will not take place there.
Due to the complex situation related to the military operation voting may not take place at individual polling stations in other districts in Donbas. No minimum voter turnout is required for the parliamentary elections to be valid.
Excluding Crimea and Sevastopol, there are 33.57 million voters in Ukraine, including 3.3 million in Donetsk region and 1.77 million in Lugansk region. According to Opora civil network, a total of 2.8 million out of 5.07 million voters in Donetsk and Lugansk regions won't be able to vote.
At the same time, Ukrainian citizens living in Crimea and Sevastopol will be able to vote for candidates on party tickets by a simplified procedure on mainland Ukraine. The same procedure applies to the residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, who unlike citizens from other regions don't have to show documents confirming the necessity to vote outside their residential area.
According to the CEC, a total of 190,300 Ukrainians applied for changing their polling stations, including 21,700 people from Donetsk region, 11,100 from Lugansk region and 3,600 from Crimea and Sevastopol.
In addition, the issue of voting for the soldiers in the anti-terrorist operation zone remains unresolved, as the majority of soldiers have only military registration cards on them. In line with the law a voter must show a passport of Ukrainian citizen to get a ballot. However, according to CEC some 10,000 servicemen have resorted to the procedure of change of the place of voting and submitted corresponding applications.
There are 496,000 Ukrainian registered voters abroad. According to CEC, 49,900 people have been registered for voting at six polling stations in Russia though according to unofficial sources, three to seven million Ukraine citizens currently live in Russia, mainly as illegal migrants.
CEC also said that in Russia only 39 people applied for changing their polling stations. Not one of them had his/her permanent voting address in Donetsk or Lugansk region.
These elections are conducted based on a mixed-member proportional representation. According to the law, 225 MPs will be elected on party lists and 225 in single-seat constituencies. However, given that the elections won't be held at 12 single-seat constituencies in Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as at 15 constituencies in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, at most 423 MPs out of 450 will be elected.
Voting will end at 8 p.m. CEC hopes to receive full election returns in electronic form by Thursday morning and announce the official election returns no later than November 10.
Several exit polls will be conducted on the voting day.
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