NEWS

Voting process was smooth and ‘eco-friendly’

The inhabitants of three tiny Ionian islets had to row to Corfu in order to cast their ballots, a woman in Thessaloniki went to considerable pains to prove that the electoral rolls contained errors and several people tried to vote using foreign passports, but yesterday’s national election otherwise ran smoothly. «We achieved our targets, conducting elections that were friendly both to voters and to the environment,» acting Interior Minister Nikos Alivizatos said. «Some minor problems were addressed immediately.» The residents of the tiny Othoni, Erikoussa and Mathraki islets had to row in their fishing boats to Corfu in order to vote after the captains of two ferries chartered to carry them across refused to do so due to high winds. The determined voters made the crossing safely. In Thessaloniki, a woman turned up at a voting center and, having got her papers, told election officials that she had already cast her ballot elsewhere. She said she had noticed on the Interior Ministry’s Internet site that she was listed as liable to vote at two separate polling stations, and decided to do so in order to attract attention to the hole in the system. Polling officials called the police, and the woman was charged with breaching the election law. At a polling station at Kokkinos Mylos, northwestern Athens, the legal officer in charge of the process forgot he had left his rubber stamp in his hotel room, forcing officials to use another stamp to validate ballots. After party representatives objected, the man was sent back to the hotel for his stamp. However, the votes marked with the other stamp were not invalidated. And in a Kaisariani voting center, the legal officer angered queueing voters by deciding to stop the procedure for a short while for a lunch break. Voters at several polling stations claimed that people had been allowed to vote with foreign passports – by law voters can only cast the ballot on display of a Greek passport or identity card – but Interior Ministry officials said there had been no official complaints. Some 4,000 temporary ID cards were issued over the weekend.