“Uspishna Varta” observers: The process of creating precinct commissions is accompanied by a number of problems

“Uspishna Varta” observers: The process of creating precinct commissions is accompanied by a number of problems

As a part of the calendar plan of the electoral campaign for the 2019 Ukrainian presidential elections, district election commissions (DECs) should create precinct election commissions (PEC) of ordinary and special polling stations before March 12th inclusive. Within the same period, the CEC should create a PEC in foreign constituencies. The first meeting of the PEC should be held no later than the second day after the decision on the establishment of the Commission.

During 10th-11th of March the observer of "Uspishna Varta" monitored the meetings of DECs in different regions. In the process of creating a PEC, a number of problematic situations that negatively affect the quality of the management of the electoral process were recorded.

Thus, a number of district commissions faced a situation when the same candidate for PEC membership simultaneously serves several candidates. At the same time, a number of DECs allows such candidates for PEC membership to choose only one candidate who they represent. In some cases, the DEC does not include such people in the commission at all.

For example, at a meeting of DEC No. 48 (Kramatorsk) on March 11th information about 6 such cases was announced. These 6 candidates were invited to the DEC and gave written explanations as to which of the two candidates they would represent. The Commission had to redistribute quotas for the precinct commissions.

A similar situation arose in DEC No. 133 (Odessa) - the observers of “Uspishna Varta” attended the meeting on March 11th. Before the approval of precinct commissions, the head of the DEC reported that some candidates for precinct commissions put forward their candidature from two candidates at the same time ("from Vilkul and Lyashko", from "Petrov and Zelensky" from "Vilkul and Taruta"). The head of the Commission reported that due to a violation these people won't be included in the Commission, and the head of the Commission sent information about the violation to law enforcement bodies.

Also, there are instances of errors being encountered in the automated information system "Vybory" whilst entering information about the composition of the PEC. At a meeting of DEC No. 47 (Slavyansk) on 11th March, the Chairperson of the DEC informed that, when information about the heads of territorial polling station was entered into the "Vybory" system, it started to give errors. Therefore, this issue was postponed for revision on March 12th.

Observation in a number of commissions has shown that not all members of DECs have a clear idea about the procedure for appointing candidates for PEC quotas. Thus, on March 11th in Kharkov at a meeting of DEC No. 174 there was a conflict regarding the allocation of quotas for the leadership of the PEC. In the end, the Committee members themselves determined the procedure of the draw – the Chairman of the DEC voiced the number of a polling station, and authorized representatives of candidates casted a vocal vote. Voting took place with members of the Commission raising their hands and voters counted out loud. At the same time, according to the observer of "Uspishna Varta", during counting votes were "lost".

#VYBORY2019 PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING THE MANAGEMENT OF THE PEC AT A MEETING OF DEC NO. 174

Due to the lack of a clear procedure for the draw, as a result, the commissions themselves determined the procedure for distribution and voting, which delays the process of forming the PEC.

A conflict situation arose in the assignment of DEC members supervising the work of a PEC. Thus, at a meeting of DEC No. 76 (Zaporozhye) on March 11th there was a discussion regarding the fairness of the distribution of numbers of polling stations by the chairman of the DEC representatives.

At a meeting of DEC NO. 77 (Zaporozhye) on March 12th it was also planned to complete the formation of the PEC. The observer of "Uspishna Varta" noted that no decisions of this Commission are mentioned on the CEC website, although the information was updated on the information board.

We will note that the observers of "Uspishna Varta" don't have problems with being allowed to come to DEC meetings. Observers are allowed to attend meetings where the question of giving them observer status is being considered.

Other problematic issues in the work of DECs remain understaffing, the lack of quorum, and a change of representatives of candidates in the commissions. A number of commissions do not have a lawyer. For example, at the meeting of DEC No. 47 (Slavyansk) on March 11th the question of the need to conclude a contract with a lawyer and its inclusion in the DEC was raised. But this issue remained unresolved. Accordingly, the work of DEC No. 47 raises a large number of questions, for which there are no legal explanations.

On January 18th the "Uspishna Varta" human rights platform was registered with the CEC as an official observer of the 2019 presidential election. All the information collected by us is included in our reports and published on our website https://uspishna-varta.com/

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