Lower turnout by 19:00 and more complaints

A total of 41,5 percent of citizens voted in elections for the Belgrade City Assembly by 19:00 (margin of error 0,4 percent). In comparison, voter turnout by 19:00 in Belgrade elections in December was 54,8 percent.

Until the last report at 18:00 the CRTA Election Observation Mission submitted another complaint on account of electoral corruption, totaling the number of submitted complaints to eight so far, for cases related to suspected vote buying and circular voting recorded in Novi Beograd, Zvezdara, Palilula, Rakovica and Obrenovac. In comparison, this is a higher number of complaints than in December last year, when CRTA submitted a total of seven complaints regarding this type of electoral corruption for the entire territory of Serbia, including two in Belgrade.

Election day was marked by irregularities that point to the drastic increase of pressures on voters. At 17 percent of polling stations in Belgrade observers recorded voters taking photographs of ballots, meaning that a large number of voters did not vote according to their own free will.

The same phenomenon is indicated by the data showing that unlawful parallel records of voters were observed at seven percent of polling stations, and that the unauthorized presence of third persons was recorded at four percent of polls. Around the polling stations, observers most frequently recorded the keeping of parallel records of voters, the circulation of suspicious cars and the organized transportation of voters to the polling stations.

At 14 percent of polling stations, UV lamps and invisible spray were used inconsistently. Cases where voters were not found in the Voter Registry were recorded at 13 percent of polls. Voting without valid identification documents was observed at three percent of polling stations.

More than 500 citizens contacted the CRTA Election Observation Mission to report diverse irregularities observed at polling stations and in their vicinity, and to seek legal advice regarding the exercise and the protection of their voting rights.

Considering that the Belgrade elections are conducted on two levels (city and municipal level), it is expected that the vote count will last very long. In order to ensure the reliability and accuracy of data, CRTA will publicly present preliminary results of elections only when information from at least 95 percent of polling stations from its sample in Belgrade is collected and processed. 

Generally, data is first received from smaller polling stations, while processing of information from polling stations with more than a thousand voters could sometimes last for hours. For example, if more data is processed from smaller than from larger polling stations, such a projection of results could be distorted.

The next media conference of the CRTA Election Observation Mission will be held after at least 95 percent of polling stations from the Belgrade sample are processed. You may follow the conference live at the CRTA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.