On Saturday morning, Belarus’ Central Election Commission (CEC) has published the official turnout data for the four days of early voting.
To date, the residents of Homiel region seem to be the most active early voters (42.72%). The smallest number of people came to the polling stations in the city of Minsk (26.45%).
According to the commission, 32.24% of electors have already cast their votes (37.88% – in Mahiliou region, 30.11% – in Brest region, 30.86% – in Vitsebsk region, 29.09% – in Minsk region, 30.02% – in Hrodna region).
The 2020 presidential election is officially scheduled for August, 9. On Tuesday, early voting kicked off in Belarus. Since then, dozens of observers have been detained in various parts of Belarus; some of them have been santenced to administrative arrest, the initiative Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections reports.
On August 4-8, the polling stations are open from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 19.00. Notably, lots of independent observers are being prevented from entering polling stations throughout the country, and they have to monitor the process of early voting sitting outside the stations or even peering through windows. However, even in such conditions, they are recording many cases of overstating early voters’ turnout.
The incumbent president’s opponents warn people against early casting their ballots, saying that early polling may play into the hands of the election authorities that are allegedly involved in vote rigging.