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  • Two men reading the new Cuban Constitution on a 23rd Street's sidewalk in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 8, 2019.

    Two men reading the new Cuban Constitution on a 23rd Street's sidewalk in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 8, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 February 2019

More than 8 million voters will vote on the new Cuban constitution, which the Cuban Parliament presented to the nation on Dec. 22, 2018.

This Sunday, Feb. 24, the Cuban people will vote in a referendum on the country's new draft Constitution. Almost 9 million people contributed to the making of the new text through a participatory process in which some 780,000 suggestions and 9,600 proposals were analyzed through 133,000 citizen meetings held between Aug. 13 and Nov. 15, 2018.

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How was the new constitutional text developed?

Almost 9 million people built the new text through a participatory process in which some 780,000 suggestions and 9,600 proposals were analyzed through 133,000 citizen meetings held between Aug. 13 and Nov. 15, 2018.

What's new in Cuban Constitution?

With respect to the current supreme law of the land, the new Constitution modifies 113 articles, adds 87 articles and eliminates 11 articles. The new text includes 760 modifications, which range from adding completely new laws to tweaking existing laws by changing words and phrases.

Who votes?

In Cuba, all citizens over the age of 16 registered by the Electoral Register of their town, and who have resided continuously in the country for a period of not less than two years before the electoral process, can vote.

In order to cast a vote, a citizen can not have been legally declared mentally unfit, cannot be in prison, or on parole, and cannot be censured politically.

The vote will be exercised in 25,348 polling stations, 195 of them specially located in areas of high population density like bus terminals, hospitals and airports.

"The Youth Club's national headquarters becomes the 84th Third Electoral College at The Revolution Square. Preparing everything for the Popular Referendum. I Vote Yes."

How do citizens vote?

Cuban citizens are expected to check with their electoral precinct in advance to verify any possible errors in their personal data or address.

To confirm their information, voters can request assistance in 189 processing offices distributed throughout the country. 

The current electoral ballots have a new format with 35 lines per page, gives information about the number of voters, and includes voter's data such as first name, last name, province, district and area of the Revolution Defense Committee.

What is the electoral ballot?

The ballot format was publicly shared so that the Cuban people could become familiar with the content. In it, the voter is asked the following question: Do you ratify the new Constitution of the Republic? There are two answer options: Yes or No. In case the voter marks both choices, the vote will be considered null.

What will happen after the referendum?

If the Cuban people approve the new constitution, the President of the Republic will replace the current figure of 'President of the Council of State and Ministers.' The position of Vice-president will be created and the position of Prime Minister will be reinstated.

Unlike the current Constitution, which was last rewritten in 1976, the new Cuban Constitution defines marriage as the union between two persons without specifying their sex. This paves the way for non-heterosexual marriage, which is an important demand of the Cuban  lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, and intersex communities.

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