Assessment of Voting Process and Closing of Polling Stations
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) is monitoring the second round of the 2017 local self-government elections in six electoral districts across Georgia. ISFED Observation Mission consists of 317 short-term observers (STOs) deployed at precinct electoral commissions and six observers at district electoral commissions (DECs) as well as six mobile groups. Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) Data Analysis and Incident Centers are operating in the central office staffed with eight data clerks and six lawyers.
Detailed Information from the PVT
For the second round of the local elections ISFED has deployed PVT observers to all polling stations in Kutaisi, Martvili, Ozurgeti, Khashuri, Borjomi and Kazbegi.
Similarly to the first round of elections, ISFED’s observation of the second round of local self-government elections is based on the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology, which enables us to timely detect violations, systematically evaluate the entire Election Day process and verify the accuracy of the official election results.
In this statement, ISFED presents its assessment of the voting process and closing of polling stations.
Based on the analysis of the information received from observers, ISFED concludes that the voting process took place mostly in compliance with the rules prescribed by the law in the majority of polling stations of the six electoral districts. In some precincts, improper handling of election documentation, breach of secrecy of vote and violation of inking procedures were observed. Representatives of law enforcement agencies and party coordinators in large numbers outside some polling stations was a noticeable trend, especially in Ozurgeti electoral district.
As of now, ISFED has filed 14 complaints at PECs and 16 complaints at DECs; 2 entries have been made in the record books.
Detailed Information from the PVT
ISFED has received reports on the voting process from 99.7% of the PVT observers from all six electoral districts.
• At 99.1% of polling stations, voters cast their ballots using proper voter identification. This is a slightly improvement in comparison with the figure from the first round of elections (97.4%).
• Inking was always properly checked at 99.1% of polling stations, which is an insignificant improvement compared to the first round of local elections (97.3%).
• At 99.7% of polling stations, the ballot papers were properly validated with a signature and a seal. This figure is not statistically different from the figure of the first round of elections (99.3%).
• At 99.7% of polling stations, voters were properly inked, which is identical to the result of the first round of the 2017 local self-government elections (99.7%).
• The secrecy of vote was always ensured at 98.7% of the polling stations, which is statistically not different from the figure of the first round of elections (98%).
• Other cases of violations during the voting process were identified at 2.8% of the polling stations. This figure equaled to 5.4% during the first round of 2017 local self-government elections.
ISFED observers reported the following violations:
• At the polling station #62 of the election district #69 (Kutaisi) two voters without proper identification documents were allowed to enter the polling station by the flow regulator member of the commission. The voters left the polling station after the ISFED observer made a remark. Afterwards, the ISFED observer tried to file a complaint, but PEC chair refused to register it as she did not agree with the content of the complaint. The complaint on restriction of observer’s rights was later filed in the district commission.
• At the polling station #18 of the election district #59 (Kutaisi) the date and time were incorrectly written in the final protocol.
• At the polling station #8 of the election district #60 (Ozurgeti) the signatures in the table version of the voters’ list is less (by one vote) than the number of ballot papers issued.
ISFED will provide information about the results of the Election Day after completion of vote count, tabulation and processing of the data received.
ISFED will issue next statement on 13 November
ISFED Observation Mission is made possible with the generous support from the American people, by financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The mission is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Contribution for observation of the runoff elections also comes from the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The contents of this statement are the sole responsibility of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy and may not be reflecting the position of USAID, the United States Government, the Federal Republic of Germany, British Embassy, or NED