CeMI’s observers reported that 2.4% of citizens registered for mobile voting in 967 processed polling stations

CeMI’s (Center for Monitoring and Research) observers reported that 2.4% of citizens, i.e. 11 500 of voters, registered for mobile voting, in 967 processed polling stations.

Given that polling boards members visit persons registered in the period from 1 pm to 8 pm, it is estimated that it is difficult to process more than 20 voters in the designated period of time, if they are to spend an average of 20 minutes per voter. At 120 polling stations, more than 20 people registered for mobile voting. CeMI estimates that 779 citizens will not be able to exercise their voting right in these 967 polling stations, due to instructions that polling board members received from the SEC.

In its opinion (580/2) from August 26th 2020, the SEC pointed out the concentration of election activities and the time frame from Article 91, para. 2 of the Law on Election of Councilors and MPs, which stipulates that the polling board is obliged to submit election material to the municipal election commission, no later than six hours from polling station closing. Based on this position, the SEC considered it realistic to expect the trustees for mobile voting to submit the election material to the polling stations no later than one hour after polling station closing, in order to start determining the voting results. This implies that the trustee for mobile voting will not allow voting to those voters who are in another municipality, if this means that they cannot return to the polling station within one hour after polling station closing.

We believe that this way a certain number of voters who have applied for mobile voting will be denied the right to vote and that the rule from Article 70 paragraph 2 (stating that the voters who happened to be at the polling station at the time of closing will be allowed to vote) will be deviated from.

We in Center for Monitoring and Research are of a strong opinion that voting must be possible for all those who have registered for mobile voting, i.e. they should be treated as voters who found themselves at the polling station at the time of its closure. Everything else would mean a gross violation of the right to vote.

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