The Process of Counting and Tabulating Votes
ISFED presents its third statement about monitoring of the parliamentary by-elections of Georgia, concerning problems and irregularities in preparing of summary protocols.
Problems at Mukhrovani special electoral district
ISFED’s observer reported that after closing of polling station at Mukhrovani special electoral district, the electoral commission identified a discrepancy between the number of voter signatures and unused ballots. One of the registrars explained that she had provided a voter with more than one ballot and wrote an explanatory note. The documents were sealed and provided to the electoral district no.13 where polling results were counted and tabulated.
As found after counting of votes, number of ballots cast exceeded the number of voter signatures with one ballot. Election workers suspected that one of the envelopes had two ballots inside. However, ISFED’s observer cannot testify to that effect because counters opened and checked inside the envelopes but did not find the missing ballot.
Police denied journalists and other stakeholders mobilized outside the electoral precinct entry into the polling station.
Other Irregularities related to Summary Protocols
At electoral precincts no.2, no.13, no.45 and no.47 in Sagarejo, number of ballot papers issued to voters exceeded the number of voter signatures with one ballot. In addition, summary protocol drafted at the electoral precinct no.47 was incomplete.
Summary protocol at Sagarejo electoral precinct no.19 was re-written. In addition, number of voter signatures and ballots issued to voters could not be reconciled, and the number of invalid ballots was not specified.
In summary protocol drafted at Sagarejo electoral precinct no.41, number of voters greatly exceeded number of ballots issued to voters.
Sagarejo DEC refused request of ISFED’s observer to provide copies of summary protocols on the Election Day, stating that it would provide the documents the next day, after a formal letter of request.
In summary protocol drafted at Martvili electoral precinct no.9, number of voter signatures exceeded the number of ballots issued.
ISFED has filed two complaints with DECs over summary protocols, seeking imposition of responsibility on PEC members.
Parliamentary by-elections are held in Sagarejo no.11 and Martvili no.65 majoritarian electoral districts, and Sakrebulo by-elections are held in four single-mandate majoritarian districts of Sagarejo, Dmanisi, Vani and Khobi municipalities in Georgia.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy is monitoring October 31, 2015 Parliamentary and Sakrebulo by-elections by means of 48 short-term observers, two district observers and two mobile teams.
ISFED election monitoring mission is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of ISFED and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government and the American people.