In 2016 the way of presenting the results in the grand final changed to a part where the juries of each country would reveal their votes live and after that a second part of the voting where the combined points of the televoters were revealed one by one. That same year it was decided by the EBU that, in case a country would not be able to provide a valid televoting result, that country’s televoting would be calculated from the televoting results of of a group of other participating countries, pre-appointed the contest’s Reference Group. The same goes in case a country would not be able to provide a valid jury result.
San Marino uses the telephone lines of Italy, so every televote made from within San Marino would count as a vote from Italy, so San Marino can never produce a valid televote result. Carlo Romeo, the director general of San Marinese broadcaster SMRTV protested against this rule change, before the contest already, on February 23 2016, saying this diminishes their voting representation and resenting the EBU for not informing their member broadcaster before announcing this rule.
SMRTV have now, however, come up with an alternative voting procedure: a selected group of San Marinese residents will vote online during the liveshows, at the same time the rest of Europe televotes. This will be supervised by an external company who specialises in these kind of voting procedures. It is a method proven to be succesful as it is being used in the San Remo festival (which nowadays often serves as the Italian national selection for Eurovision).
Carlo Romeo is positive and states:
“It is a very balanced solution, which has little to no disadvantages. We hope for a positive response from the organisers of the competition. The Republic of San Marino deserves the same rights as other participating countries”.
It remains to be seen how the EBU will react to this proposition.