2015 Bulgarian electoral code referendum

A referendum on introducing electronic voting was held in Bulgaria on 25 October 2015 alongside local elections. Although the referendum resulted was approved by a wide margin, turnout was far below the required threshold to make its result binding.[1]


A petition was introduced into the Bulgarian Parliament on 10 March 2013 by an Initiative Committee presided by professor Georgi Bliznashki on proposed changes to the electoral code of Bulgaria.[2][3] These included: reintroducing first-past-the-post voting alongside proportional representation, making voting compulsory and introducing electronic voting.[2] Under current Bulgarian law a referendum is mandatory if a petition receives at least five hundred thousand signatures. Supporters claimed to have 560,000 signatures on the petition,[4] giving Parliament three months (until early June) to authenticate the signatures. Numerous signatures were nullified, however, and so the requirement of half of million authentic signatures was missed. Still, there were enough signatures to put the content up for debate before parliament.[3] When the debate came in June, however, lawmakers rejected the idea of holding the referendum.[5]

One of the elements in the petition, that of introducing mandatory voting, has been put forward by the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Sergei Stanishev, and has been endorsed by the leader of GERB, Boyko Borisov.[6]


Choice Votes %
For 1,883,411 72.79
Against 704,182 27.21
Invalid/blank votes 122,339
Total 2,709,932 100
Registered voters/turnout 6,766,619 40.05
Source: CEC


  1. ^ Bulgaria’s electronic voting referendum falls short Sofia Globe, 25 October 2015
  2. ^ a b "Bulgaria Voting Referendum 'Could Be Held at EU Elections'". Novinite.com. Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Parliament Speaker: Voting Referendum to Be Debated in Days". Novinite.com. Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Petition for Election Rules Referendum Brought to Parliament". Novinite.com. Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Bulgaria Will Not Hold Referendum on Election Rules". Novinite.com. Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Bulgarian Opposition GERB to Back Mandatory Voting". Novinite.com. Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2014.