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Politicians Want to Bring More Georgians Abroad to Ballot Boxes in 2024

President Salome Zurabishvili and, separately, a coalition of two opposition parties voiced intentions to bring more Georgians living abroad to the ballot boxes.

According to a recent study, 860 thousand people, approximately 23% of Georgia’s population, emigrated between 2010-2020. The National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) says 125 269 citizens emigrated in 2022, the highest number in the decade. As the elections loom, pro-European actors hope to capitalize on their votes.

On November 27, President Zurabishvili spoke to the scholars and said: “Our compatriots living abroad should also see and know that this country depends on their engagement – political engagement. We cannot deny our compatriots living abroad, be they young or old people, the essential right, which is the participation in elections.”

Currently, Georgians abroad can only vote at the polling stations in the Georgian consulates. This often means a long commute for people who do not live in the capital or a major city. For many, this means that they are unable to vote.

To address that concern, on November 28, the allied “Girchi-More Freedom” and “Droa” parties announced a “Ballot Box in Your City” campaign, calling on Georgians abroad to request the opening of polling stations in cities where there is no Georgian consulate. They want to take advantage of a provision in the electoral code that provides for the opening of ballot boxes in areas where at least fifty Georgian citizens request to vote. The parties are calling on Georgians abroad to log on to a special website, provide their contact details and ask for the ballot box to be opened in their area.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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