Early voting at the presidential election in Belarus has started on Tuesday, state-run news agency BelTA reports.
Polling stations will stay open in the period from 6 to 10 October, from 10:00 to 19:00 with a break from 14:00 to 16:00.
In order to receive a ballot paper a voter should show a passport or other ID papers (a military service record card, a certificate of employment, a pension certificate or a student ID card, a certificate from the interior bodies – for the citizens who have lost their passports).
Early voting is also possible at polling stations that are set up abroad.
In Belarus, 20-30% of voters usually go to the polls during the period of early voting. At the 2010 presidential elections, over 23.1% cast their votes in advance.
However, according to independent observers and human rights activists, early voting makes it possible to rig elections. Belarusian human rights activists state every time Belarusian military, students and civil servants are forced to vote early.
Human rights activists urge to use a mobile app that helps to report violations.
This year, four candidates will compete for the top post in the country: Syarhei Haydukevich, Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party; Tatsiana Karatkevich, an activist of the civil campaign ‘Tell the Truth!’; incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka and ‘Cossack chieftain’ Mikalai Ulakhovich, Chairman of the Belarusian Patriotic Party.
Tatsiana Karatkevich made a stand against compelling people to vote early.
The election is scheduled for October, 11.