More than 130,000 Turks from quake zone to vote outside home towns -election board

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ANKARA - At least 133,000 people affected by February's devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey will vote outside their home towns, the head of the country's High Election Board (YSK) said on Monday.

The presidential and parliamentary votes are set for May 14, three months after powerful earthquakes struck 10 provinces in Turkey's south, killing more than 50,000 people and leaving millions homeless.

YSK officials are visiting earthquake-hit provinces to oversee preparations for the voting process, its head Ahmet Yener told reporters.

"Some 133,000 voters from the earthquake zone have changed their registered polling place to other provinces, and 600,000 voters in total have changed their polling place in Turkey as a whole," Yener said.

The YSK has previously said there are no obstacles to holding elections in the quake zone, and announced additional measures such as setting up ballot boxes for voters in temporary shelters and allowing those who had moved away to easily change their registered address.

President Tayyip Erdogan is facing his biggest political challenge in more than two decades of leading Turkey, with recent polls showing him trailing Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the candidate of the main opposition Nation Alliance.

More than 64 million Turkish citizens, 3.4 million of them abroad, are registered to vote in the elections, Yener said. Turkey has a total population of around 85 million.

(Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Daren Butler and Gareth Jones)

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