Statement About the Ongoing Electoral Process (07:00-20:00)
By this time, our observers have reported up to 90 insignificant and relatively serious violations. We have filed 9 complaints. Some of the serious violations are following:
Active mobilization of voters and alleged instances of vote buying
A large number of coordinators for presidential candidates can be observed outside of nearly every precinct. Most of them are standing outside with automobiles and people can be observed getting in and getting out of them on a periodic basis. There is a reason to believe that voter buying is taking place. Outside of several precincts, our observers have witnessed the alleged handing out of money. Namely, we observed these instances in the following precincts:
· Precinct #2, #10, #20 and #32 of Dmanisi #24 district
· Precinct #32 of Isani #5 district
· Precinct #2 of Gurjaani #12 district
Violation of the rules of electoral campaigning
In the precinct #25 of Gurjaani #12 district, the commission member didn’t enter the voting booth and made his vote publicly.
Alleged fixing of the elections
In the precinct #94 of Zugdidi #67 district, our observer saw how a commission member responsible for the voting box threw in several envelopes into the box. Our observer, after expressing concerns about this incident, was taken outside by the commission chair and a representative of Salome Zurabishvili and asked not to report this incident. They also promised that this issue would not occur again. Notably, this contains elements of violation of criminal law. Therefore, we call upon the Prosecutor’s office to take notice of this case and respond appropriately.
Alleged vote buying
In the precinct #2 of Gurjaani #12 district, an observer from the “Georgia’s United Youth Union” organization followed one of the voters outside and handed him money. This person doesn’t deny this fact.
Violation of the right to secrecy of vote
In precinct #45 of Kutaisi #59 district, the commission members gave a ballot to a voter and the ballot did not include a signature and stamp. When this voter exited the voter booth, the commission members took the ballot away, considered it inadmissible and gave the voter another ballot.
Number of observers from the same organization on the same precinct
In the precinct #55 of Marneuli #22 district, two representatives from the same organization were present in the same precinct. In spite of our observer’s efforts, the head of the commission didn’t resolve this issue for a long time. A similar issue was observed in the precinct #21 of Isani #5 district.
Refusing observers entry to the precinct
In the precinct #2 of Ninotsminda #41 district and in the precinct #26 of Chiatura #56 district, the chairs of the commissions for a period of time did not allow observers entry into the precincts. After some time, this issue was resolved.
Commission Member’s Refusal to participate in the casting of lots
In the precinct #100 of Gldani #10 district, in the precinct #88 of Gori #32 district, in the precinct #7, #25 and #89 of Batumi #79 district, the members of the commissions appointed by the United National Movement refused to participate in the casting of lots for determining who would be responsible for the portable ballot box.
Incorrect use of the stamp by the registrator
In the precinct #32 of Dmanisi #24 district, one of the registrators applied the stamp incorrectly for some time. This can be a basis for nullifying the ballots.
Voting without the electoral ink
In the precinct #37 of Senaki #64 district, one of the registrators was giving a ballot to the voter without applying the electoral ink.
Inappropriate behavior of the queue moderator
In the precinct #21 of Isani #5 district, the queue moderator let in more than two voters to the registrator. In spite of numerous objections, the chairperson of the commission did not resolve this problem.
In the precinct #20 of Rustavi #76 district, one of the queue moderators was whispering the list numbers to one of the observers. When our observer complained about this issue, that he was doing his wife’s work, who is a party coordinator.
About the Observation Mission
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) will deploy 350 observers to monitor the October 28 Presidential Elections. Our static observers will cover 300 precincts throughout the country. In addition, 45 mobile groups will also be involved in election observation.
On election day TI Georgia will hold two press conferences at 13:00 and 20:30 in order to present preliminary assessments of election day developments. The final assessment will be provided on October 29 at 11:00. Additional statements will be made upon necessity.