Final Statement of GOLOS Association: Decrease in the Level of Public Monitoring

14 марта 2010 г.

On March 14th, 2010 more than 700 representatives of GOLOS Association conducted public monitoring of voting and counting procedures at polling stations, and the tabulation of the results in the higher-level electoral commissions during elections in Altay Republic, Vladimir, Voronezh, Kurgan, Ryazan’, Sverdlovsk regions, and also in Astrakhan, Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Ivanovo, Irkutsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Sochi, Tula, Chelyabinsk.

Final Statement of GOLOS Association: Decrease in the Level of Public Monitoring, General Violations of Remote Voting Procedures and Counting of BallotsFinal Statement of GOLOS Association: Decrease in the Level of Public Monitoring, General Violations of Remote Voting Procedures and Counting of Ballots
On March 14th, 2010 more than 700 representatives of GOLOS Association conducted public monitoring of voting and counting procedures at polling stations, and the tabulation of the results in the higher-level electoral commissions during elections in Altay Republic, Vladimir, Voronezh, Kurgan, Ryazan’, Sverdlovsk regions, and also in Astrakhan, Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Ivanovo, Irkutsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Sochi, Tula, Chelyabinsk.

Today, March 15th, GOLOS Association held a press conference at the Independent Press Centre in which the Association released a final statement summarizing the findings of GOLOS’ Election Day monitoring. At the press conference Lilia Shibanova, Executive Director for GOLOS, noted a number of problems with the elections including reports of unauthorized persons’ being present at most polling stations, as well as limitations being placed on the rights of party observers, election commissioners and mass media representatives. Shibanova also noted reports of violations of remote voting procedures and numerous cases of organized voting with absentee ballots including bussing and bribing of voters in some regions.

In addition, during Election Day members of electoral commissions continued refusing to make proper registers for remote voting, and by the end of the day GOLOS Association started to receive large number of messages on the violations of the counting procedures. In regards to the voting process, Yekaterinburg proved to have the most cases in which voters were inappropriately transported to the polls and where absentee ballots were used inappropriately. Questions about absentee voting included improper handling of absentee certificates and the opening of last minute polling stations in shopping centers where large numbers of absentee voters could be brought to cast ballots.

GOLOS Association reports that the level of public election monitoring is decreasing, and that this decrease is directly linked to the reduction of political competition in the regions. Nevertheless, this election GOLOS received more messages through its Hotline. Thus, during October 2009 elections GOLOS received 394 messages about possible irregularities, but throughout March 2010 elections the number of messages was 553.

GOLOS condemns the limitations of the rights of mass media representatives, observers, and also the pressure which was encountered by GOLOS’ representatives – Civic Voice newspaper correspondents.

Association conducted monitoring of March 14th elections starting from December 1st, 2009. First and second statements on findings of long- term monitoring can be found at GOLOS’ website at: http://golos.org/r73.html (in Russian) and http://golos.org/?lang=en (in English). Additional information can be received from Central Office representative Tetyana Bohdanova: tel. (495) 234–59–39, 8 919 762–98–61, E-mail: press@golos.org

Press service of GOLOS Association