Joint assessment of the pre-election environment of the 2020 parliamentary elections
On August 31, 2020, the Decree of the President of Georgia established that the next Parliamentary Elections would be held on October 31 of the same year. The official pre-election campaign began on September 1, sixty days prior to the casting of votes, and became more intense as the Election Day drew closer. The pre-election environment, as well as the preparations for the Election Day, were significantly affected in a negative manner by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and the respective challenges brought about by the outbreak. The number of infected individuals saw a sharp rise with the approach of the Election Day. This has resulted in the healthcare system’s registration system for infected and isolated individuals to become vague. Furthermore, the Central Election Commission’s attempt to adopt a Decree to regulate this issue two weeks prior to the elections proved to be insufficient. There were also shortcomings in public communication and voters were not duly provided with important information. Due to these circumstances, the right to vote of thousands of voters was called into question.