Voting Process of April 28 By-Elections
International Society of Fair Elections and Democracy is monitoring April 28 Parliamentary By-Elections in Khoni-Vani #54 Majoritarian District. The observation mission consists of 25 short-term observers (STOs), 2 District Election Commission (DEC) observers and 2 mobile teams. The central office runs data analysis and incident centers.
All ISFED observers were allowed to enter the precincts and could freely observe the process. According to the observers, the opening and setting up of polling stations went without significant violations at the majority of polling stations. Procedural errors have been identified at some of the polling stations.
Out of the 34 polling stations that ISFED observers reported from, in 18 precincts number of voters in mobile ballot box list exceeds 3% limit defined by the Election Code in each precinct while in remaining 16 polling stations number of voters in mobile ballot box voter lists is at 3% or almost equals 3%.
According to those 34 polling stations, total number of voters included in mobile ballot box lists is 1044. ISFED cautions that the high percentage of voters in the mobile ballot box lists at the polling stations could bear potential risks of electoral manipulation.
At the moment of the statement, ISFED has filed 2 complaints at the DEC and 2 entries were made in the record book at Precinct Election Commissions.
High number of voters in mobile ballot box lists
- At the polling station #5 of the election district #54-53 (Vani), 6% of voters of the precinct were included in the mobile ballot box list.
- At the polling stations #14, #20, #24 and #31 of the election district #54-53 (Vani), 5% of voters were included in mobile ballot box lists.
- At the polling stations #3, #4, #11 and #29 of the election district #54-53 (Vani), 4% of voters were included in mobile ballot box lists.
- At the polling stations #1, #8, #9, #16 of the election district #54-53 (Vani) and at the polling stations #12, #19 of the election district #54-55 (Khoni) voters included in mobile ballot box list slightly exceed 3%.
According to the article 33, paragraph 4 of the Election Code, in case the number of voters in the mobile ballot box list of a precinct exceeds 3% of the total number of voters in the list of the polling station, after reaching this threshold decision on including a voter in a mobile ballot box list of a polling station is made by the relevant DEC with two-thirds majority of the session participants.
High percentage of voters in the mobile ballot box lists of the polling stations could bear a potential risk of electoral manipulation since voting though the mobile ballot box is less protected and ensured from falsification. When voting through mobile ballot box, voters are not inked, voting secrecy is not guaranteed and only two commission members administer the voting process.
As of 14:00, ISFED observers have reported two violations.
- At the polling station of #13 of the election district #54-53 (Vani) and at the polling station #11 of the election district #54-55 (Khoni) the registrars each handed a ballot paper to the voter without voter signature in the voters list.
ISFED calls upon all eligible voters to participate in elections and express their free will by voting in favor of a candidate of their choice. In order to vote, the voters should have with them: Georgian citizen ID card or a Passport.
ISFED Observation Mission is made possible with the generous support from the American people through t the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The views expressed in this statement belong solely to ISFED and may not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.