Public debate and consultation over a long-awaited draft bill establishing a framework for Greek citizens to exercise absentee or mail-in voting commenced on Thursday.

The draft legislation also includes provisions for modifications in the election process for European Parliament MPs as well as updating voter rolls in the country, a priority given that tens of thousands of names listed as eligible voters correspond to deceased persons.

The foremost provision in the bill gives a Greek citizen the right to either vote in person or to cast a ballot by mail. Greek citizens out of the country at the time of an election will have to mail their ballot to designated first instance courts for tallying, as no expatriate voting precincts are envisioned.

The public debate portion of the ongoing legislative process concludes on Jan. 10 next month.

Under the draft law, absentee ballots will be counted at the same time with other ballots cast in person throughout the country.

If ratified, the new mail-in framework will also apply to European Parliament elections and referendums.

In order to acquire the right to vote by mail, a citizen must electronically register on a specific online platform using their personal tax bureau codes. Among others, citizens will have to specify an address where election materials will be sent, along with a valid mobile phone number and email. The latter will be used to confirm one’s identity through the use of one-time OTP codes.

A deadline to apply is 40 days ahead of any slated election.

Giving Greek citizens the right to vote from abroad was one of the most prominent pledges of the current center-right Mitsotakis government.