Press Release of “Independent Observer” Public Alliance

On February 12, 2017, the “Independent Observer” Public Alliance with 15 observers monitored the elections of the Council of Elders in Semyonovka village of Gegharkunik marz (region) during which the voter registration electronic technical devices were tested. The observers of the ‘Independent Observer’ Public Alliance and representatives of the partner mass media stayed at the polling station for the period of 10:30 am-13:30 pm and witnessed various tests of applying the voter registration electronic devices.

During the testing of devices, the following problems were identified:

– The device read voters’ identification cards almost without any difficulty but read ordinary passports with significant difficulty. As for biometric passports, the data were entered only manually. This might be caused by both the quality of the paper and the fact that the structure of the device is not suitable for reading passports.

– A case was identified when after reading a passport the device showed a yellow signal but after the same voter’s data were entered manually, it showed a green signal.

– After voting with an ordinary passport, the voting by the same person’s biometric passport was tested and the technical device allowed voting again by showing a green signal (thus allowing double voting).

– The device read a photocopy of an identification document and recognized it as an original passport.

– The signal line is too thin and hard to see which is problematic in terms of adequate supervision.

– The device found it difficult to read fingerprints.

– There were discrepancies between the data of the references on voter turnout and serial numbers printed by the 2 technical devices operating simultaneously.

– The data (76 voters) in the references on the number of voters who voted in the election printed by the 2 technical devices operated simultaneously did not correspond to the number of the used ballot stubs (83 stubs).

Tigran Mukuchyan, Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, members of the Central Electoral Commission, Davit Harutyunyan, Head and Chairman of the Staff of the Government, were also present at the polling station; they provided explanations in terms of the process and promised to solve to the extent possible the problems identified while testing before the RA National Assembly elections of April 2.

Moreover, the Alliance considers it efficient to test the voter registration electronic devices once again after solving all the problems before the RA National Assembly elections to find out to what extent the above problems are solved.

“Independent Observer” Public Alliance
February 13, 2017

The organizations below are the founding members of the “Independent Observer” Public Alliance:
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor;
Union of Informed Citizens;
Martuni Women’s Community Council;
Goris Press Club

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