Until 7pm, 49.9 percent of Serbian citizens voted

A total of 49.9 percent of citizens listed in the voters list voted at the Serbian presidential elections until 7 pm, the CRTA election observation mission ‘Citizens on Watch’ stated. Margin of error was +/- 1 percent. In comparison to the last year’s parliamentary elections, this is the turnout of 3.2 percent less voters until 7 pm.

Observers deployed to the random and representative sample of 450 polling stations reported that voting process by 7 pm was conducted mainly in accordance with established procedures.

In comparison to the observation results at 4 pm, the slight increase in the percentage of irregularities at polling stations, from one to three percent, was recorded. This percentage still refers to isolated incidents that cannot be considered a trend that would influence the regularity of the voting process. Recorded irregularities included voting without identification documents, not checking voters’ identification prior to voting and handling of parallel voters lists. Distribution of campaign material less than 50 meters from the polling station was not recorded in this period.

One incident of physical violence was recorded at the polling station 16 in Leskovac, where a political party activist assaulted the president of the polling board and caused him minor injuries, so the police and the ambulance intervened. The police also intervened at the polling station 67 in Pancevo, due to the gathering of extremist groups in front of the polling station.

In Zajecar, Alibunar and Knjazevac police stations were opened outside of working ours with the purpose to issue the confirmation that voters without a valid ID card had submitted the request for the issuance of the new ID card. The CRTA election observation ‘Citizens on Watch’ mobile team confirmed that the replacement of ID cards was organized for 50 in Alibunar.

The CRTA election observation mission ‘Citizens on Watch’ does not have observes in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, abroad, or within the Bureau of Prisons.

The CRTA election observation mission ‘Citizens on Watch’ based its monitoring of the Serbian presidential elections on April 2, 2017 on statistical principles as an effective method for systematic observation of the process during the Election Day, using the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology. This methodology enables the assessment of the entire voting process on the Election Day – opening of the polling stations, voting and vote count – in an unbiased and systematic manner. PVT methodology uses randomly selected sample of the polling stations (PS), which means that the results are representative for the entire country. Observers are deployed to 450 polls and they monitor the entire election process – from the opening of polling stations until the records on the election results are compiled. Based on representative sample, PVT enables detection of irregularities and violations of election procedures on the Election Day and provides information about regularity of the election process for the entire country.

CRTA’s election observation is based on the highest international standards, stipulated in the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations.

The next public statement of the CRTA election observation mission ‘Citizens on Watch’ is scheduled for after the presidential elections vote count and processing of data collected within the sample (around 10 pm).