Voting Process and Closing of Polling Stations
For the October 21, 2017 local self-government elections ISFED has deployed PVT observers to:
• A nationally representative, random sample of 300 polling stations throughout Georgia to assess the quality of the election day process;
In this statement, ISFED presents its assessment of the voting process and closing of polling stations based on the information provided by 99.7% of PVT observers.
Based on the analysis of the information received through PVT, ISFED concludes that the voting process was conducted without significant violations in the majority of polling stations across Georgia. However, throughout the voting process Marneuli electoral district remained as the most problematic one. ISFED observers detected widespread cases of significant violations in ten polling stations of Marneuli district. Violations tended to be repetitive at the polling stations #31, #18 and #50. ISFED observation detected irregularities at ten polling stations in Rustavi as well.
During the Election Day, a noticeable trend was collection of voters’ personal information from the table voters list by representatives of political subjects. Such practice was identified at 16.8% of the polling stations throughout the country. Similar incidents were revealed in only isolated cases in those self-governing cities and municipalities where ISFED observers were deployed at all polling stations. However, this trend was most visible in Tbilisi and was identified by ISFED observers at the 74.8% of the polling stations throughout the capital.
ISFED observers have identified following violations throughout the opening and voting process: restricting the right of observer at 7 polling stations; violation of inking procedure at 15 polling stations; violation of the secrecy of the vote at 3 polling stations; voting with improper documentation at 3 polling stations, participation in voting process by unauthorized individuals at 3 polling stations, casting of vote instead of other individual at 1 polling station; different cases of procedural violations during opening of polling stations and voting process were detected at more than 50 polling stations.
Detailed Information from the PVT
• At 97.4% of polling stations in Georgia, voters cast their ballots using proper voter identification. This figure is almost identical to the figure from the 2014 local self-government elections (97.7%) and the 2016 parliamentary elections (98%). In contrast to the nationwide data, highest figure of voters casting votes without proper identification document was identified in Marneuli election district.
After 17:00 ISFED’s observers reported following violations:
Restriction of observers’ rights
• At the polling station #65 of the election district #20 (Rustavi), observer was not allowed to register a complaint;
Unlawful termination of voting process
• At the polling station #31 of the election district #22 (Marneuli), members of commission unlawfully terminated voting process and vacated the station. ISFED observers requested annulment of polling results.
Improper check of inking
• At the polling station #15 of the election district #22 (Marneuli), a voter was not checked for inking.
Participation of inked voters in voting process
• At the polling station #29 of the election district #79 (Batumi), two voters who were already inked were allowed to cast a vote.
Marking of ballot papers
• At the polling station #29 of the election district #79 (Batumi), ballot papers were marked by the registrar with a pen.
Casting of vote by unauthorized individuals
• At the polling station #10 of the election district #68 (Tsalenjikha), two voters were allowed to cast a vote using mobile ballot box and at the precinct as well.
Improper placement of ballot papers in the ballot box
• At the polling station #65 of the election district #20 (Rustavi), voter placed only one ballot paper in the envelope.
Number of issued ballot papers exceeding number of signatures in the voters list
• At the polling stations #14 and #34 of the election district #20 (Rustavi), at the polling station #10 of the election district #37 (Akhaltsikhe) and at the polling station #10 of the election district #36 (Borjomi), number of issued ballot papers by the registrar was exceeding the number of signatures in the voters list.
Arbitrary swap of functions between members of commission
• At the polling station #60 of the election district #9 (Nadzaladevi), functions were swapped arbitrarily between members of commission, without indicating it in the record book.
Inadequate handling of electoral documentation
• At the polling station #13 of the election district #70 (Poti), the registrar did not manage to ensure that the voter put their signature in the right spot on the voters list.
Presence of unauthorized individuals at the polling station
At the polling station #8 of the election district #1 (Mtatsminda), two representatives of “Left-Wing Alliance” were presented at the station.
ISFED allows you to follow the election process online, by going to the elections web-portal – www.electionsportal.ge, where election violations are 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 will issue next statement tomorrow, 22 OctoberISFED 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.