Voting Process by 19:00
Voting Process by 19:00 The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) is monitoring the October 28, 2018 Presidential Elections in all electoral districts around Georgia. ISFED Observation Mission consists of more than 800 accredited and trained observers deployed at precinct, 73 observers deployed at district electoral commissions and 78 mobile groups, PVT and Incident Centers are working in the central office with 15 operators and 10 lawyers.
ISFED’s observation of the Presidential 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 information about voter turnout as of 17:00 and any violations that have been reported by this time.
According to ISFED observers, the disturbing trend of mobilization of party activists still continues and is happening across the districts. These activists are noting which voters go to the stations. This method is mostly used by the activists of the “Georgian Dream”, however, representatives of the “United National Movement” were using similar tactics.
Voting process itself is taking place in a rather calm environment. However there are cases of certain procedural violations, namely regarding ballot papers.
At the moment of the statement ISFED has filed 48 complaints at the Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 43 complaints filed at the District Electoral Commissions (DECs).
Voter Turnout by 17:00 (PVT Results)
According to ISFED, voter turnout by 17:00 is 38.1%, (with a margin of error of (+/- 0.8%), which is statistically similar to the 2013 Presidential Elections when voter turnout by 17:00 was 38.9%.
Voter turnout in Tbilisi by 17:00 was 35.8%, compared to 2013 Presidential elections by 17:00 was 39.8%.
In regions (except of Tbilisi) voter turnout was 38.9%, compared to 2013 Presidential Elections when voter turnout by 17:00 in regions was 38.4%.
PVT analysis allows us to calculate the average time it takes for a polling station to process a voter. According to the information recorded by the PECs, in 74.5% of polling stations, the commission processed, on average, one voter per minute, while in 25.2% of polling stations the commission processed 1-2 voters per minute and in 0.3% of polling stations – more than 2 voters.
As of now, ISFED observers have reported following violations:
Alleged attempt to influence the voters’ will
• At the polling station #1, #30, #24, #25 and #26 of the election district #15 (Lagodekhi), at the polling station #60 of the election district #15 (Tskaltubo), at the polling station #26 of the election district #52 (Baghdati), the coordinators of the “Georgian Dream” are noting the voter activity. At the polling station #1, #29, #19 and #20 of the election district #16 (Kvareli), coordinators are writing down voters information and simultaneously are campaigning for Salome Zurabichvili.
• At the polling station #5 of the election district #60 (Ozurgeti), while ISFED’s observer was taking photos and videos of activists sitting in the mini-vans near the station, one of the activists from “Georgian Dream” started quarrelling with them in an aggressive manner. Situation was neutralized by involvement of the member of the campaign of the “Georgian Dream”, Besik Melua.
• ISFED’s mobile group visited 17 polling station in Senaki election district. They identified cases of mobilization of coordinators from the ruling party, “Georgian Dream,” as well as from the “United National Movement.” Campaigning at the polling station • At the polling station #34 of the election district #47 (Mestia), campaign poster of Salome Zurabichvili was on the wall. It was removed after ISFED’s observer pointed at the fact.
Limitation of observers’ rights
• At the polling station #85 of the election district #22 (Marneuli), observer was restricted in their ability to take photo and video.
Presence of unauthorized persons at the polling station
• At the polling station #85 of the election district #22 (Marneuli) unauthorized persons are allowed to enter the station and are interrupting the voting process. The commission member responsible for managing the line of voters is not carefully checking who is entering the station. Violation of secrecy of vote
• At the polling station #53 of the polling station #22 (Marneuli), the voter was accompanied in the cabin by the representative of the monitoring organization “21st Century.” Chair reacted to the incident after the observer pointed out the problem.
Procedural violations related to ballot papers
• At the polling station #83 of the election district #9 (Nadzaladevi), while placing the ballot paper in the envelope the voter found that there was already a ballot paper in that envelope.
• At the polling station #33 of the election district #3 (Saburtalo), members of the Commission accompanying the mobile ballot box were given 12 ballot papers. Vote was casted by 9 voters, however Commission members brought back only 2 ballot papers instead of 3, stating that they lost one ballot paper.
• At the polling station #37 of the election district #79 (Batumi), members of the Commission accompanying the mobile ballot box were given 9 ballot papers. However, six voters cast ballots, but only 2 were brought back instead of three.
• At the polling station #28 of the election district #44 (Ambrolauri), the registrar issued more than one ballot paper to a voter.
• At the polling station #56 of the election district #5 (Isani), the voter placed the ballot paper in the ballot box without an envelope, while members of the commission were occupied by changing responsibilities for managing the line of voters waiting to vote.
• At the polling station #7 of the election district #30 (Kaspi) and polling station #24 of the election district #49 (Terjola), the voter placed the ballot paper in the ballot box without an envelope.
Voting instead of other voter
• At the polling station #75 of the election district #32 (Gori), a voter was not in the voter list, however, he/she was allowed by the chair to sign the list for a different voter and therefore, was able to cast a vote.
Voting with improper documentation
• At the polling station #31 of the election district #67 (Zugdidi), the voter was allowed to cast a vote after presenting only a copy of their identity card instead of the original card.
Voting without proper inking
• At the polling station #19 of the election district #67 (Zugdidi), the registrar failed to properly ink several voters.
Inadequate handling of electoral documentation
• At the polling station #10 of the election district #52 (Baghdati), voters, who were to vote by mobile ballot box, were not properly indicated in the voters’ list at the registrar’s table.
Violations regarding signatures in the voters list
• At the polling station #24 of the election district #49 (Terjola), the registrar failed to ensure the proper signing in the voters list by a voter.
• At the polling station #30 of the election district #27 (Mtskheta), the registrar failed to ensure the proper signing in the voters list by a voter.
• At the polling station #17 of the election district #7 (Chughureti) and the polling station #30 of the election district #3 (Saburtalo), two voters found their places in the voters list were already signed by someone else.
ISFED allows you to follow the election process online, by going to the elections web-portal – www.electionsportal.ge, where election violations are immediately posted on the elections map. In addition, anyone can report violation of the electoral process by sending a text to a toll-free number 90039.
ISFED reminds voters to have one of the following documents with them to be able to participate in the elections: Georgian citizen ID card and Passport of a citizen of Georgia.
ISFED calls upon all eligible voters in Georgia to go to the polls and express their free will by voting in favor of a candidate of their choice.
ISFED reminds voters that voting is secret and pressure on voters and control of free will is a criminal offense.
ISFED will release its next statement at 22:00
ISFED Observation Mission is made possible with the generous support from the American people, by financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Election Day mission is also supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The views expressed in this statement belong solely to the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy and may not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, the Federal Republic of Germany, or NED.