OSCE International Election Observation Mission. Ukraine – Presidential Election

Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions (Ausschnitt)

Election Day

Election day was peaceful, with a voter turnout of 63.5 per cent announced by the CEC. The CEC started posting on its website detailed preliminary election results by polling station at around 23:00 on election day.

Opening procedures were assessed positively in 246 of the 265 polling stations observed. With few exceptions, established procedures were followed. However, IEOM observers noted the presence of unauthorized persons in 26 polling stations, and interference by candidate and party observers in 10 polling stations. About a quarter of the polling stations observed opened with slight delays.

Voting was assessed positively in 99 per cent of polling stations observed. IEOM observers characterized the process as well-organized, smooth, transparent and efficient, with a high level of adherence to established procedures. The few negative assessments were mainly due to overcrowding and ballot boxes that had not been sealed properly (5 per cent of observations), often due to poor quality of the seals.

Procedures such as ID checks and the signing of voter lists and ballot counterfoils were adhered to, with few exceptions. Similarly, IEOM observers reported only few cases of serious violations such as attempts to influence voters (less than 1 per cent), series of seemingly identical signatures on voter lists (1 per cent), and group (2 per cent), proxy or multiple voting (less than 1 per cent each). IEOM observers noted problems with the secrecy of the vote, including not all voters folding their ballots to preserve the secrecy of their vote (6 percent of polling stations observed), voters showing their marked ballots to others present (8 per cent), or indications of voters taking pictures of their ballots (2 per cent). All this could reflect concerns expressed in the pre-election period with regard to possible vote-buying. In 7 per cent of polling stations observed, IEOM observers saw persons other than PEC members keeping track of voters who had voted.

In 18 per cent of polling station observed, one or more voters were not allowed to vote. In about half of such cases, this was because they were not on the voter list, but there were also numerous cases where voters had come to the wrong polling station or could not produce a valid ID. IEOM observers noted in 35 polling stations that voters without a valid ID were nonetheless allowed to vote.

Candidate and party observers were present in 95 per cent of polling station observed, and citizen observers in 57 per cent. Given the high number of citizen observers accredited, this is a surprisingly low presence. They also often could not say which organization they represented. IEOM observers noted the presence of unauthorized persons, in particular police, in 7 per cent of polling stations observed. In 51 polling station observed, persons other than PEC members interfered in or directed the process; in 27 cases, they were candidate or party observers. Written complaints were filed in 9 per cent of polling stations where voting was observed.

Some 58 per cent of polling stations were not accessible for persons with physical disabilities, and in 23 per cent, the layout was not suitable for them. IEOM observers reported overcrowding from 5 per cent of polling stations observed.

The vote count was assessed positively in 279 of the 331 polling stations where it was observed. Counting was transparent, and candidate and party observers were present at almost all counts observed, and citizen observers at over one half. Isolated cases of unauthorized persons or undue interference in the count were noted, usually by candidate or party observers.

IEOM observers noted a few significant procedural errors and only few serious violations during the vote count. They did, however, report that basic reconciliation procedures were often not followed, including the PEC announcing the number of voters on the voter list (39 cases), the number of voters’ signatures on the main and homebound voter lists (67 and 65 cases, respectively), or of used ballot counterfoils (41 cases). In 57 counts observed, the figures established during reconciliation were not entered into the protocol before the ballot boxes were opened. Counting procedures were followed overall, although IEOM observers reported that 50 counts were not performed in the prescribed sequence. This failure by PECs to follow basic reconciliation procedures or to perform the count in the prescribed order were main reasons for negative evaluations by IEOM observers.

During 42 counts, the validity of contested ballots was not determined by voting. IEOM observers also noted 24 cases where the results protocol had been pre-signed by PEC members, but saw no attempt to deliberately falsify the results. Forty-five PECs observed had problems completing the results protocol.

The initial stages of the tabulation process were assessed negatively in 47 of 259 observations. This was mainly due to inadequate conditions at DECs that caused overcrowding and limited transparency. In 67 cases, conditions were inadequate for the tabulation of results, mainly due to insufficient space and poor organization. Forty-five DECs were so overcrowded that it negatively affected the process, and in 57 there was tension or unrest. In 85 cases, IEOM observers could not fully observe the data entry of results, which limited transparency. In 42 cases, not everyone present had a clear view of procedures, and in 47 cases, IEOM observers were restricted in their observation. More often than not, those entitled did not receive copies of the intermediate tabulation protocols. IEOM observers reported cases of PEC results protocols that had not been completely filled in (12 cases) or did not reconcile (20 cases). They also reported from 39 DECs that PEC or DEC members were changing protocol figures at the DEC, in violation of the law. Citizen and candidate or party observers were present in the large majority of DECs. Ten of the twelve observed cases of interference in the work of DECs were by such observers

Quelle: OSZE, 01.04.2019, https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/415733

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