CRTA Files the Request for Access to Polling Board Records
According to the analysis of information on the quality of electoral processes received from the representative and random sample of 450 polling stations, and the review of polling board records compiled after closing of polling stations, the CRTA election observation mission „Citizens on Watch“ assessed that the Election Day went mainly in accordance with established procedures, and that the information about voters’ turnout and voting results for individual election candidates corresponded to the official results of the Republic Electoral Commission (on the basis of 99,9 percent of processed material). The CRTA election observation mission „Citizens on Watch“ stands behind its preliminary election monitoring findings regarding the quality of the elections conduct prior to and during the Election Day.
To clear any doubts regarding the most recent allegations of the Election Day misconduct, referring to subsequent changes to polling board records, CRTA will file the request for access to polling board records submitted to the Republic Electoral Commission, in order to compare them with records photographed by CRTA’s observers at their polling stations on April 2.
CRTA appeals to all authorized institutions to investigate allegations of potential malpractice in handling the election material and attempts to redraw citizens’ electoral will, and to inform the public of the findings.
Preliminary findings of the Election Day observation showed that the election irregularities recorded at three percent of polling stations could not influence the election results. Recorded irregularities included individual cases of not checking voters’ identification prior to voting, not using the invisible spray, handling of parallel lists with voters’ names. Irregularities with voters list were recorded at 27 percent of polling stations, which points to the systemic problem regarding the voters list. It is important to underline that a small number of Serbia’s citizens is affected by this problem, namely 0,2 percent of voters.
The CRTA election observation mission „Citizens on Watch“ filed 18 complaints regarding irregularities recorded during the Election Day to the Republic Electoral Commission, out of which three were adopted. CRTA appealed to the Administrative Courts regarding 11 complaints rejected by the Republic Electoral Commission, out of which one has been adopted so far. CRTA also filed three criminal charges against NN persons before the Novi Sad Prosecutor’s Office due to suspicion of a criminal offence bribery at elections (the so-called “vote buying”) in Temerin, Novi Sad and Beocin.
Taking into account that the Election Day is only one segment of the election process, the Election Day observation only is not sufficient for the assessment of the overall quality of the elections conduct. According to the results of the CRTA election observation mission „Citizens on Watch“ pre-election campaign monitoring, the election campaign was very short and intense, characterized by unequal media coverage, allegations of pressure on voters, different forms of misuse of public resources in the campaign and highly resticted involvement of independent bodies in the elections oversight and control, primarily of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media and the Anti-Corruption Agency.
The CRTA election observation mission „Citizens on Watch“ will monitor the day of revote in the elections at eight polling stations, scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Deployed to all eight polling stations, observers will focus monitoring on the quality of electoral processes during opening of polling stations, voting process, closing of polling stations and vote count. CRTA will inform the public about the voting process during the day of revote through press releases and social networks.
Following the official announcement of election results by the Republic Electoral Commission, the CRTA election observation mission “Citizens on Watch” will publish the final report on the elections conduct, with recommendations for improvements.