The Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station, located 15 000 km from Kyiv, is the most distant polling station in Ukraine. On March 31, 34 people will vote here – 11 participants of the permanent expedition – wintering members of the 23rd UAE as well as 23 seasonal expedition members who arrived at the station at end of January.
The station Akademik Vernadsky has the status of a special polling station, because for obvious reasons, the electoral procedure in such a remote place has its own peculiarities. In particular, polar explorers use not “live” ballots, but their printed scanned copies, which are sent by the Central Election Commission a day before. On the polling day a self-made voting booth and a ballot box are installed in the station’s largest premise – dining room.
So, in the presence of all members of the expedition, the number of votes is counted.
The election commission created from among the polar explorers is responsible for ensuring the voting process. Recently, the CEC has approved the composition of the commission on this special polling station represented by four polar explorers; the head of the commission has been appointed Viktor Sytov, the 23UAE Base Commander.
Depending on the election date and the ice conditions, the opportunity to transfer the protocol of the polling station commission with a “wet” seal and the ballots to the “big land” may happen in a month, and, sometimes, in a year. Therefore, these documents in the format of scanned copies are promptly transmitted from the station to the CEC.
“If a citizen is not indifferent to what will be with his vote, he will find an opportunity to vote 15,000 kilometers from home, amidst snow and icebergs”, – says the head of the National Antarctic Scientific Center Evgen Dykyi, urging all Ukrainians to come to the polling stations on March 31.
Since 1999 members of Ukrainian Antarctic Expeditions have the opportunity to exercise their electoral right at the Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station.