The number of votes cast in the ballot boxes set up abroad for the presidential election runoff has already surpassed the first round’s figures, though the voting continues at the customs gates till May 28, when the runoff will take place at home, TurkicWorld reports citing Hürriyet Daily News.
The Supreme Election Council (YSK) has reinstalled ballot boxes at 167 points in 151 representative offices across 73 countries for the runoff election.
Over 1.85 million expatriates cast their votes at representations and customs till late May 24, when voting ended at diplomatic missions, while they can still head to the polls at border gates until May 28, when the runoff will be held in Türkiye.
Though the voting period has been reduced from 12 days to five days due to the Election Board’s tight calendar, overseas votes are expected to approach 2 million.
More than 1.83 million citizens cast their votes at Türkiye’s overseas representations and customs in the first round, which indicates a participation rate of 52.6 percent.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hailed the “record turnout” and thanked overseas voters as they “showed their will by flocking to the ballot boxes though they were far from their hometowns, and proudly represented the nation all over the world.”
The president also urged citizens who have not yet voted to head to the polls at customs gates and airports till May 28.
Overseas votes could prove decisive as they could contribute up to half a percentage point in the presidential polls and potentially sway the results.
After the voting process abroad ends completely, the votes will be brought to Türkiye by “diplomatic couriers” under high security and will be stored in a safe area at the ATO Congresium exhibition center in the capital Ankara, the board says.
The overseas ballot boxes will be opened together with the others at home late on May 28.