Press Release #1: The opening of polling stations and the start of voting in Omsk
Civic Voice, the publication established by GOLOS Association for the Protection of the Rights of Voters, has deployed 57 correspondents to monitor the early mayoral elections in Omsk. The correspondents will observe the voting and counting processes at polling stations, and the tabulation process at higher electoral commissions. Monitors from the independent organization “Petersburg Observers” and from the “Citizen Observer” worked in partnership with GOLOS. Further observation was conducted by observers in St. Petersburg, who viewed live web-camera broadcasts on the internet.
99 of the polling stations are equipped with electronic ballot boxes (22.1%), and 434 are equipped with web-cameras (96.88%). According to our data, by 10:00 observers were unable to access footage from all of the polling stations equipped with web-cameras. The Municipal Election Commission (MEC) was notified.
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.
On 17 June 2012, Civic Voice correspondents will visit approximately 287 precinct electoral commissions (PECs), or 64.06%. As of 10:00, all GOLOS correspondents had been admitted into the polling stations and allowed to work.
GOLOS Association has been made aware of the following reported violations:
- In PEC #280, Civic Voice correspondents were forbidden from taking photographs or making video recordings. They were also prevented from moving freely within the PEC, thus hindering their monitoring capacities.
- According to data received by the call center, the voter lists in PECs 10, 12, 310, and 367 contain pencil-drawn markings of the letter, “M.” The mobile brigade has been deployed to PECs 10 and 12.
- In PEC #447, a massive amount of gel-filled balloons obstructed the web-camera footage, according to Citizen Observer correspondents.
- In PEC #388, the stationary ballot box was not sealed, according to a web-camera observer in St. Petersburg.
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 at www.kartanarusheniy.org.
After 20:00, the SMS-CEC service will begin its parallel summarization of the electoral results at www.sms.golos.org.
Results of GOLOS Association’s monitoring of the Omsk elections will be summarized on 18 June 2012. A statement on the course of the elections will be distributed to representatives of the media at a joint press conference, which will be held at 12:00 in the conference hall on the third floor of the “Turist” hotel at 2 Broz Tiro Ulitsa. The statement will be posted on GOLOS’ website as well, available at: www.golos.org.
For additional information, please contact Andrei Akhramovich Anatolyevich, regional coordinator for GOLOS Omsk, at 8 913 961 35–83.