Voter Turnout for 12:00 and the Voting Process
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) is monitoring the second round of the local self-government elections on July 12, 2014 in 28 electoral districts around Georgia. ISFED’s observation mission consists of approximately 800 accredited and trained observers, including 32 mobile teams, deployed to precinct and district election commissions throughout the country, as well as the central election commission.
For the second round elections, ISFED deployed observers to:
• a representative, random sample of 350 polling stations in Tbilisi;
• all polling stations in 4 self-governing cities (Rustavi, Mtskheta, Gori, Ozurgeti) and 7 local communities (Khoni, Bagdati, Tkibuli, Terjola, Lanchkhuti, Khulo, Akhmeta)
• the remaining 7 electoral districts (Batumi, Poti, Kobuleti, Telavi, Kvareli, Martvili, Tianeti), where ISFED will conduct mobile observation.
ISFED will implement monitoring of the second round of the local self-government elections using the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology, enabling us to identify irregularities in a timely manner, evaluate the whole process of the Election Day and verify accuracy of official results. ISFED has been successfully utilizing the PVT methodology for more than 10 years since 2003. July 12 elections will be the ninth time ISFED will utilize the PVT methodology for evaluating the Election Day and the polling results.
On July 12, 2014 local elections, voters will elect 8 mayors and 13 chief executives (Gamgebelis) in self-governing cities and municipalities where the candidates failed to secure 50%+1of votes in the first round of the elections.
In this statement, ISFED presents information about the voter turnout as of 12:00 and any violations that have been reported by this time.
ISFED has found the following voter turnout in self-governing cities as of 12:00: Tbilisi – 15% (margin of error +/-0.3%); Ozurgeti - 25%; Mtskheta -20%; Rustavi – 16%; Gori – 14%.
In self-governing cities, where ISFED is carrying out PVT, voter turnout for 12:00 has increased as compared to the first round of the 2014 local self-government elections. The self-governing city Mtskheta is an exception where the turnout has dropped by 1% in comparison to the June 15 elections.
The turnout figures as of 12:00, in municipalities where voters are casting their ballots for Gamgebelis, are as follows: Khoni (28%), Baghdati (19%), Terjola (21%), Tkibuli (22%), Lanchkhuti (25%), Khulo (15%), Akhmeta (19%).
Particularly high voter turnout has been observed in Khoni, Lanchkhuti and Ozurgeti districts.
For the period of 09:30 – 13:30, the ISFED observers have reported the following violations:
• 1 case of campaigning: at precinct #31, Terjola district, a representative of the United National Movement (UNM) instructed a voter on which candidate to vote for. The commission chairperson issued a warning to the representative;
• 1 case of limiting the rights of observers: at precinct #1, Lanchkhuti district, an observer was prevented from making notes in the precinct record book;
• 3 cases of voting with improper documents: at Rustavi #9, Poti #15, Didube #38 precincts.
• 2 cases of violating the integrity of the mobile ballot box at precincts #27 and #12, Khulo district.
• 9 cases of improper documentation: Terjola #10, Gldani #31, Tkibuli #18, #19 and #27, Rustavi #41 and #60, Batumi #18, Mtskheta #2, Khulo #44 precincts.
As of now, ISFED observers have filed 4 complaints at the precinct election commissions, and 18 complaints at the district election commissions.
Together with partner organizations, ISFED posts the results of its monitoring online by means of elections web portal – www.electionsportal.ge, where election violations reported by the three non-governmental organizations are immediately pinpointed on a map. Further, any citizen can send information about electoral violations by sending a free SMS to the number 90039.
ISFED observers report information to the Data Analysis Center in Tbilisi via short text messages (SMSs), phone calls, and tablet PCs. The Data Analysis Center is comprised of 15 data operators, 15 lawyers, and the staff of the Central Office. ISFED has built a sophisticated PVT database that processes the observers’ texts and automatically gives observers feedback based on an artificial intelligence algorithm. All observer data undergoes several quality control tests and, once those tests have been passed, the data is analyzed and incorporated into ISFED’s findings.
ISFED would like to remind voters to have one of the documents listed below with them to be able to participate in the elections:
• Georgian citizen ID card
• Passport of a citizen of Georgia (the so-called international passport)
• Certificate of an IDP (together with an ID card).
ISFED calls upon all eligible voters in Georgia to participate in the elections and to freely express their will by voting in favor of a candidate of their choice.
ISFED will issue next statement at 19:00.
ISFED election monitoring is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands in Georgia and the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF). The content of this statement is the responsibility of ISFED and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government, the Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands in Georgia or the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF).