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Extending voting hours to 23:59hrs, applicable inside, outside Romania

Chairman of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) Florin Mituletu-Buica said on Tuesday that extending the voting hours to 23:59 hours, at the latest, also applies at the polling stations in Romania.

The Judicial Committee of the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday issued a report on the adoption of amendments to the pieces of legislation regulating voting abroad in Romania's presidential elections that says at 21:00hrs, when the sections are to close, the voters still waiting inside or outside in line to cast their ballots should be allowed to do so until 23:59hrs.

Asked if this procedure is valid both inside and outside Romania, Mituletu-Buica said that "the procedure is identical" in both instances.

"The procedure is identical, because even inside the country, if there are voters at the polling stations still waiting to vote, the voters can exercise their right even after 21:00hrs, the usual time for the closure of the voting process," the head of AEP said at Parliament Palace.

He said the exit polls in the presidential election could only be broadcast after 23:59hrs, instead of after 21:00hs, as was the case in the previous elections.

"We are talking about those exit polls that are made by the pollsters accredited by the Central Electoral Bureau to conduct them. So far, the regulation was they may be released at 21:00hrs, but by extending the voting hours the people still voting may be influenced between 21:00hrs and 23:59hrs. I think this is a right solution," said Mituletu-Buica.

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