Ridiculous: 2,187 Days Needed to Transfer Slavi’s Show Petition

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At the “Making Direct Democracy Work in Bulgaria” Conference, Yordan Ginev, IT expert and business associate, related his experience of transferring the petition of Slavi’s Show in electronic form.

Being an advocate of the petition ideas, he undertook to copy the personal data from the signed papers into electronic tables.

This task proved nearly as impossible as the collection of over 400,000 signatures within a three-month period.

Ginev pointed out that, provided a good copying speed was achieved and the personal data were perfectly legible in the paper version, the copyist needed one and a half minutes to enter a person’s data.

Bearing in mind that Slavi Trifonov’s initiative committee for a national referendum collected 673,841 signatures, this meant that the Show would need to employ somebody for 2,187 working days (or nearly 7 working years) in order to enter all the information in an electronic list.

In fact, with Ginev’s help the job was done in about 60 working days by 130 people who transferred the data of those who had signed the paper copy of the petition in electronic form – day in, day out.

Ginev was among the panel speakers invited to discuss the herculean task of initiating a national referendum through a petition at the Conference, organized by Bulgarian Association for the Promotion of Citizens Initiative. Giving certain facts and calculations, he called attention to the absurdity of the law which requires the data from referendum petitions to be transferred into an electronic list. Undoubtedly, such a requirement makes it impossible for groups of people without immense time, human, financial, etc. resources to initiate a national referendum and the only purpose it has is to make life easier for the clerks who are responsible for checking the validity of the signatures.

As a result of the forum, a group of petition and local referendum organizers wrote a letter to the Ombudsman to require monitoring of the checking procedures and termination of the electronic lists, considered an infringement on the right to referendums.

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