Complaints filed by ISFED at District Electoral Commissions
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) filed 12 complaints with district electoral commissions (DECs) over irregularities observed during opening of polls and the voting process, as well as over flawed and inaccurate summary protocols.
• Complaints about polling procedures
7 out of ISFED’s 12 complaints have been filed over irregularities observed during opening of polls and the voting process. In 6 cases ISFED is seeking imposition of disciplinary liabilities on commission members; in remaining one complaint ISFED is seeking imposition of administrative liability on PEC chair and secretary for restricting rights of an observer. 6 out of 7 complaints have been filed with Martvili no.65 Electoral District and remaining one complaint has been filed with Sagarejo no.11 electoral District. As of now, ISFED’s latter claim has been granted and a measure of disciplinary liability (warning) has been imposed on the chair and the secretary of PEC no.8.
• Complaints about counting and tabulating votes
5 out of ISFED’s 11 complaints have been filed over irregularities detected in summary protocols. All five cases have been observed at Sagarejo Electoral District and involve rewritten summary protocols at PEC no.19, which is prohibited by law; number of ballot papers exceeding number of voter signatures at PECs no.2, no.13, no.45 and no.47, where PEC summary protocols are not reconciling; incomplete and inaccurate summary protocols at PECs no.41 and no.47. In its complaints ISFED is seeking re-tabulation of polling results and imposition of liability on PEC members concerned.
At this time, Sagarejo DEC has reviewed claims of ISFED in relation to summary protocols drafted at PECs no.19 and no.41. Administrative liability was imposed on the secretary of PEC no.19, and a disciplinary measure (reproof) was ordered against the PEC chair for rewritten summary protocol. Disciplinary liability was imposed on the chair and the secretary of PEC no.41 for inaccurate summary protocol.
Notably, PEC no.13 proved to be most problematic among PECs with flawed summary protocols, because it also includes the so-called special precinct no.50. ISFED’s observers found that number of ballot papers exceeded voter signatures. ISFED has filed a complaint seeking revision of results. The DEC is scheduled to review ISFED’s claim on November 3.
ISFED and its partner organizations have submitted a number of recommendations about creating and voting at special electoral precincts. The by-elections have illustrated yet again the need to revise the existing applicable legislation.
Further, participation of high-ranking officials in election process is unacceptable, especially in cases involving defense sphere, because participation of military servicemen in elections has long been the subject of criticism and manipulation. Their involvement may call fair and competitive administration of elections into question. We believe that applicable legal norms must be revised.
ISFED’s complaints are reviewed in adherence to applicable election legislation. ISFED’s representatives are able to attend the complaints process and voice ISFED’s position about the complaints. As of now, DECs continue to review the claims. ISFED will continue publishing updates about the complaints process.