“Salemetsiz be! Hello! The operator is listening. Okay, your inquiry is regarding the referendum, yes, alright. So, you can get an absentee ballot at the place where you are registered in your district. It is not issued to people who stay in the city, but only to those who leave it. You will need to have your ID with you, go to your precinct, write an application and get an absentee ballot. You will also need to present a train ticket. Allright, well. All the best!” said an operator.
The capital's iKomek 109 call center has received a record number of such calls in the last 24 hours. 1,500 residents of Nur-Sultan called the operators asking about the issues concerning the nationwide referendum. In particular, people were interested in information regarding their polling stations, the schedule of their work on June 5, and much more. Residents can receive an absolutely free online consultation from the call center agents, who work non-stop twenty-four seven.
“Basic questions are “what is a referendum?” Why should I vote? What is my IIN, what is my address, who to contact, which polling station? Accordingly, the call center operators have a knowledge base, we explain to everyone what is referendum. Where should you apply. What polling stations are there? In addition to the iKomek contact center, we have other services; the official web portal of the Nur-Sultan Mayor’s Office, nsreferendum.kz, referendum.gov.kz, and also a telegram chat bot ns_referendum_bot, there is also Smart Astana mobile application and contact center iKomek-109,” said Askar Taksimov, Acting Head, ‘iKomek 109’ Monitoring and Rapid Response Center, Nur-Sultan city.
In total, from May 17 to 31, more than 7,000 such calls to 109 call center were recorded in the capital. The management of the contact center notes, on average, about 500 calls are received per day, and this is five times more than before the announcement of the referendum. The relevant services were launched in the mobile applications of two Kazakhstan banks for providing additional information to voters, according to iKomek.
Translation by Assem Zhanmukhanova
Editing by Saule Mukhamejanova