“Union of Informed Citizens” NGO has sent a number of suggestions related to the RA Draft Electoral Code to the RA Government and to the National Assembly Committee on State and Legal Affairs. The document includes suggestions that were mostly not discussed before, as well as ones that required formulation.
In particular, the 8 suggestions concern the following issues:
- Availability of signed voter lists. According to our suggestion, the territorial electoral commissions (TECs) should provide the list of all voters registered by the electronic registration devices to the political parties and observer organizations based on their appeal on the day following the election.
- In order to eliminate all the previous misinterpretations, it shall be clearly stipulated in the law that observers, media representatives and proxies have the right to enter the polling station after 8 p.m. on the day of the election.
- Clearly define the cases when the observer, media representative or proxy can be withdrawn from the polling station. In this respect, it is also suggested to define a strict procedure in line with the basics of legal administration.
- In order to eliminate previous misinterpretations and include the official clarification of CEC in the code, it is suggested to clearly stipulate that observers, media representatives and proxies have the right to get acquainted with signed voter lists and ballot papers without taking photos, making copies or taking notes.
- Stipulate that the number of voting participants shall always be seen on the screen of the electronic voter registration device, as well as the number of voting participants per each hour shall appear on the summary sheet printed at the end of the voting (in order to eliminate the possibility of ballot staffing).
- Stipulate that the register shall include not only the violations registered by the proxies but also those registered by the observers and media representatives in order to ensure a possibility for a more comprehensive assessment of the voting process.
- As the vote count and tabulation periods by the precinct electoral commissions have been extended, it is suggested to extend the periods for appeal (appeal for invalidating the results and having a recount of votes) at least as much, especially taking into account the fact that the current period envisaged for appeal is extremely short.
- As the electronic voter registration devices should be designed to eliminate the human factor, we suggest to have a special control for the cases when the electronic device cannot read the voter’s identity document and hence the identity document number has to be input by hand. In particular, it is suggested to prepare a special protocol for such cases. In addition, the number of voters registered in the aforementioned way should be reflected in the summary sheet printed at the end of the voting (and that number should match the number of protocols).
The aforementioned suggestions have been prepared by taking into consideration the joint opinion of CoE Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR on the Draft Electoral Code, the OSCE/ODIHR suggestions published after the constitutional referendum, Venice Commission’s approach (Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters), decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the official clarifications of the RA Central Electoral Commission and suggestions of the RA Government representatives.
“Union of Informed Citizens”