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The Voter Registration Lists Are Not Hung In The Polling Stations; T

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  • The Voter Registration Lists Are Not Hung In The Polling Stations; T

    January 29 2013

    5 international and 12 local organizations, as well as representatives
    of foreign embassies accredited in Armenia are registered in the
    Central Election Commission (CEC) to carry out a monitoring mission in
    the presidential election on February 18. Among the local organizations
    is Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office (81 observers), the
    Democratic and Electoral Processes NGO (36 observers), the Armenian
    Center for Democratic Education-CIVITAS (77 observers), the Center for
    Electoral Systems (60 observers), the Dilnet Service (71 observers),
    the Choice Is Yours (1066 observers), the Martuni Women's Community
    Council (285), the Capacity and Development for Civil Society (65),
    and the Harmony (470 observers) NGOs, the Unison NGO for Support
    of People With Special Needs (15), the Civil Society Institute (67)
    and the Helsinki Committee of Armenia (103) NGOs.

    The organizations carrying out a monitoring mission presented during
    a conversation with what violations had been committed
    in the presidential race so far.

    Anahit Gevorgyan, the head of the Martuni Women's Community Council
    NGO, stated: "The passport commission asked to inform about mistakes
    as the campaign proceeds so that they are corrected quickly. There
    are cases of people who have returned from the army, but

    haven't been registered yet, or they have left for the army and haven't
    been removed from the registration list. As for the addresses that
    have changed, but changes haven't been made in the voter registration
    lists, the person himself must have that issue solved.

    Now the town hall calls on everyone to go to the passport office
    and deal with that issue." In response to our question whether they
    followed the people who went to opposition candidates' meetings, as
    last year, Ms. Gevorgyan said: "No one has paid attention to Martuni
    yet, and no candidate has come to our town to meet with the voters."

    According to our interlocutor, it is generally passive in Martuni;
    they mainly get information from, as they put it, Republican TV
    channels and YouTube. Ms. Gevorgyan told an anecdote that she had
    visited her relatives and she had been told: "Have you come to tell
    us whom we should vote for?"

    The Choice Is Yours NGO has recorded a series of violations. Harutyun
    Hambardzumyan, the head of the NGO, stated that in some communities,
    there had been deaths at the end of last year about which the
    competent body hadn't been informed; therefore, their names hadn't been
    removed from the voter registration lists. Mr. Hambardzumyan added:
    "At no. 33/49 polling station, village of Hatsik, region of Shirak,
    two residents who have been dead for 5 years - Vladimir Karapetyan
    and Sargis Hakobyan - their names haven't been removed from the
    voter registration lists yet. There are some cases of people who
    have been demobilized, but their names haven't been included in the
    voter registration lists. In the town of Maralik, region of Shirak,
    according to the mayor's decision, the building of the local Art
    School was allotted for no. 36/37 polling station, but the voter
    registration lists were hung in No. 1 School, explaining that the
    building was heated. According to another decision of the mayor,
    the former decision has been changed and No. 1 School has been
    allotted for the polling station, but the CEC has found that decision
    unacceptable. The voter registration lists have been hung in the Art
    School, which is considered the polling station. However, a question
    arises why they didn't decide in advance to turn the more comfortable
    building into a polling station, since the voters may be confused now."