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OPINION of Promo-LEX Association on the draft law on piloting postal voting

(March 13, 2024)


Promo-LEX Association has issued an opinion on the draft law on the piloting of postal voting, a document to be presented March 7, 2024, during public consultations organized the Moldovan Parliament’s Legal, Appointments, and Immunities Committee. This submission offers a comprehensive critique and set of recommendations, delving into the vital concerns and issues surrounding the deployment of this voting method.

Understanding the backdrop of the postal voting initiative is crucial to grasp its significance. The heightened diaspora participation observed in recent electoral events, notably the 2020 presidential and the 2021 early parliamentary elections, underscored the necessity for alternate voting options. These elections were marred by difficulties such as extensive queues and shortages of voting materials, underscoring the imperative for additional voting mechanisms.

Promo-LEX has articulated the critical need to embrace postal voting as a viable and necessary option, acknowledging the global precedent and the imperative to safeguard every Moldovan citizen’s voting rights, irrespective of their geographical location.

However, the assessment presented raises several concerns and identifies notable deficiencies within the proposed legislation. A primary issue highlighted is the challenge to the universality and equality of the vote. The draft law’s approach to restrict postal voting piloting to only US and Canada-based voters stands in conflict with the core principles of universal and equal suffrage. Consequently, Promo-LEX advocates for the expansion of postal voting to encompass all eligible voters desiring to utilize this alternative voting mechanism.

The document further underscores the critical need to adhere to international standards and constitutional mandates in rolling out postal voting. It emphasizes the paramount importance of maintaining transparency throughout the process, guaranteeing every voter’s right to a free and secret ballot. Consequently, further measures are therefore required to prevent external pressure, corruption and fraud in postal voting.

Furthermore, Promo-LEX experts identify several deficiencies and ambiguities in the drafting process of the proposed legislation, urging for its submission to public consultation prior to its adoption. The organization’s recommendations are directed towards refining the draft law to align with democratic standards and electoral principles, notably through securing affirmative assessments from esteemed international entities like the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR.

In conclusion, Promo-LEX Association expresses its support for the implementation of postal voting, but emphasizes the necessity of a thorough and transparent procedure in drafting and adopting the law, so as to guarantee the protection of electoral rights for Moldovan citizens.

The full opinion can be downloaded here

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