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    Head of Poland’s State Electoral Commission Explains Impact of Refusing Referendum Voting Cards on Participation Numbers

    In preparation for the upcoming general election scheduled for October 15 in Poland, concerns arise over the potential divergence in turnout figures between the general election and a concurrently held referendum. The State Electoral Commission’s (PKW) director, Sylwester Marciniak, shed light on this matter, emphasizing that those who decline to accept a voting card for the associated referendum will not be included in the count of participants.

    Recent data extracted from the national electoral roll as of June 30 has indicated that over 29 million individuals possess the eligibility to cast their votes in the forthcoming election. Marciniak emphasized that the pivotal factor influencing the outcome lies in the number of individuals who actively engage in the referendum process. He explained that these individuals have decidedly chosen a stance—either in favor or against the referendum—by obtaining a voting card. Consequently, individuals who opt out of receiving a voting card for the referendum will not be tallied among the group of active participants.

    In response to queries about potential disparities in turnout figures between the general election and the concurrent referendum, Marciniak affirmed the likelihood of such differences. Drawing parallels, he likened this scenario to the distinctions observed between the Sejm (lower house of parliament) and the Senate.

    Magdalena Pietrzak, the head of the National Electoral Office, offered additional insight into the referendum’s mechanics. She detailed that the determination of whether the referendum achieves binding status hinges upon a calculation based on the number of valid voting cards collected from the ballot boxes. This underscores the importance of active participation in the voting process to effectively influence the outcome of the referendum.

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