CVU/ OPORA (31.03.2019) – The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) and the Civil Network OPORA reported on various incidents recorded during the Election day.
“2100 observers have been deployed across the country by CVU today”, said Oleksiy Koshel. Among the main issues identified by CVU during the vote were violations of voting procedures by the members of the precinct election commissions, inaccuracy of the voter lists, illegal campaigning, and photographing of the filled-in ballots by voters.
“We have registered inaccuracies in the voter lists in two thirds of the polling stations observed”, said Denys Rybachok. “We estimate hundreds or even thousands of voters who could not vote due to the fact that they were not registered in the voter lists”.
CVU observers reported many cases where voters came to polling stations without proper ID, many cases of spoiled ballots due to inappropriate usage of stamps by election commissioners, and several cases of protocols being filled in before the voting has been accomplished. Photographing of ballots was reported during the entire voting process as well as illegal campaigning by some candidates. “The voting was calm and peaceful”, said Koshel.
OPORA’s analyst, Oleksandr Kliuzhev, stated that according to their parallel vote tabulation there was a voter turnout of 49.8% (with a 0.6% margin of error) up until 16:00, with higher turnout in Eastern regions compared to Western regions. In general, observers reported that they were provided free access to polling stations and could freely observe the elections.
Kliuzhev identified the illegal issuance of ballots was wide-spread on E-day. Especially in rural areas OPORA observed that voters received their ballots without providing necessary identifying documents and that the ratio of these offences was quite high. “It is important to educate the electorate about the illegality of obtaining ballots without proper documentation”, said Kliuzhev. “It is particularly important in advance of the next round of the elections.”
OPORA also recorded that 17% of polling stations opened earlier than 08:00, which violates electoral procedures. “This and other violations indicate that members of election commissions require more training to be better informed about procedures before the second round of elections”, said Kliuzhev. The frequent changes of election commission members have affected the performance of the election commissions.
Up until now the voting process was peaceful but no final statements can be made until the final count and tabulation of votes occurred and the overall Election Day procedures have been completed. No direct attempts of falsifying the vote were recorded by OPORA, such as through ballot box stuffing.
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