#20 INCREASE CAPACITIES OF THE POLLING STATION COMMITTEES
Electoral commission members must undergo standard training (VC II.3.1.g), and must be expert on election issues (II.3.1.d.ii), while political parties must be equally represented in electoral commissions (II.3.1.e). In order for these standards to be met, it is necessary to undertake the following:
- Introduce by the Law the obligation to licence the members of the polling station committees in permanent composition
In order to achieve the necessary level of expertise of members of the polling station committees, it is necessary to amend the relevant provisions of the Law on the Election of Members of Parliament and condition membership in the polling station committees with an appropriate licence, which would be issued by the Republic Electoral Commission after training and passing a test. On the basis of valid legal solutions, the REC is competent to “prescribe training programmes and conduct trainings for members and deputy members of local election commissions and polling station committees”, and it is necessary to define at the level of the Law the obligation of the REC to condition the licencing of members of the permanent composition of polling station committees by attending mandatory training and passing the final test.
- Reorganise the composition of polling station committees – parties that have members in the permanent composition cannot have members in the expanded one
Bearing in mind that the current composition of the polling station committees cannot respond to the request to conduct the Election Day in accordance with the established rules and procedures, it is necessary to reorganise their composition. The proposed amendments to the electoral legislation would deny the right of political entities that have a representative in the permanent composition of the poling station committee to have/exercise that right in the case of an expanded composition of the poling station committee. In addition, due to its large number, the current composition of polling station committees cannot respond to the need to improve their work through timely and quality education of its members. On the other hand, reducing the number of polling station committees’ members, without denying the right of electoral lists to have their own representatives on the Election Day, will enable significant financial savings in the election process.
- The entry of the objections of the members of the polling station committees in the minutes of the work of the polling station committees should be on the form that is an integral part of the minutes
It is necessary to change the form of the Minutes on the work of the polling station committee so that a part of the form becomes a space for recording the remarks of the members of the polling station committees, in accordance with the legal norm (Article 105 paragraph 2 of the Law on the Election of members of Parliament). The recommendation arises from practical needs, since during the election process in 2022 in several dozen polling stations the remarks of members of polling stations written on a special sheet of paper were lost or not included in the election material.
- In case of a repeat voting at the polling station, the nominators may nominate as new members of the polling station committees only persons who have successfully passed the training for work in the polling station committees
High-quality work of polling station committee members is the main precondition for successfully organised and conducted voting at the polling station. From one election cycle to another, the work of polling station committees, despite the trainings and educations held, is not at a satisfactory level. According to the current legal solutions, training of future members of polling station committees is not a condition for obtaining the status of a member of the polling station committee, so it happens that a large number of persons who have not been trained to work in the polling station committee, actually do. In order to conduct the election process as efficiently and effectively as possible, in the event of a repeated voting, only persons who have been trained as members of polling station committees should be allowed to compose a committee. This would reduce the probability of possible illegal actions of members of polling stations and / or repeated voting caused by the administration failure.