Yaroslavl. Press Release # 2
More than 60 `Civic Voice` correspondents are monitoring compliance with voting and counting procedures at polling stations and the tabulation of results at higher election commissions for the second round of Yaroslavl’s mayoral elections. `Civic voice` was established by GOLOS Association, NGO for the protection of voters’ rights
As an organization guided in its work by internationally prescribed standards for election observation, GOLOS Association strictly adheres to political neutrality as a fundamental element of independent and objective monitoring. Throughout the course of the electoral campaign, GOLOS is guided by universally accepted international electoral standards, as well as by regional electoral standards and the norms established by Russian electoral law.
`Civic Voice` correspondents have visited more than 240 Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) in Yaroslavl today.
Thanks to the high level of activity of observers and media representatives that arrived from various regions, monitoring of the transparency of the elections and adherence to legislatively established electoral procedures for voting and counting was very thorough.
Preliminary results of voting were obtained within 20 minutes of the closing of polling stations. Subsequent data has not significantly changed the percentage of votes cast for the candidates.
Preliminary results of the parallel vote count will be available at SMS-CEC Yaroslavl, which can be accessed at: http://sms.golos.org/
Processed ballots: 81
Invalid ballots: 2.51%
Once again, we want to draw attention to the situation of the possible bribery of voters.
Evidence of voters having appealed to the members of electoral commissions in order to obtain compensation for voting, and evidence of the collection of coupons by people conducting exit polls are symptomatic of an administrative offense, as stipulated under S. 5.6 of the Russian Administrative Code.
Several complaints have been launched appealing to law enforcement agencies to check the documented evidence and to hold the perpetrators responsible.
In our view, this technology is not highly effective as it cannot be implemented en masse, and it may have been a provocation staged by forces who disagree with the electoral results. It is possible for there to be a situation wherein the electoral commission or the courts can treat the relevant evidence with prejudice, and can thus establish that the electoral violations rendered it impossible to determine the will of the voters with any certainty.
Information on violations can be submitted to GOLOS by way of its hotline at 8 800 333 33–50, or can be posted on the Map of Electoral Violations site. The call center has received 140 phone calls and the site has received 67 reports of possible violations.
Results of GOLOS Association’s monitoring of the Yaroslavl elections will be summarized at a press release at 12:00 on 2 April at the Ring Primer Hotel. A statement on the course of the elections will be distributed at the press conference to representatives of the media, and will be posted on GOLOS’ website, available at: www.golos.org.