Regular elections of the President of Ukraine on March, 31, 2019, took place in competitive environment and in compliance with basic standards of genuine elections, whereas cases of breaking national law failed to present any constraints for citizens to exercise their right to vote and be elected.
Throughout the entire electoral process, OPORA observers identified facts of failing to comply with the election law that still require efficient and politically unbiased investigation. In some cases, the breaches were threatening that is why the priority task of the state is to provide for the principle of inescapable nature of punishment for electoral fraud. However, according to preliminary results of OPORA observation, election process and its outcomes reflect the actual distribution of electoral views of the citizens of Ukraine.
On election day and during the vote count at polling stations, breaches of the law were not massive to significantly affect voting results. At the same time, OPORA appeals to electoral subjects to facilitate investigation of breaches of the law, and finalize all the initiated procedures to prove or disprove the facts of breaking the law. It is instrumental for fraud prevention in the future.
Typical Violations Recorded During Voting and Vote Count
On election day, Civil Network OPORA relied on verified statistical data collected by observers at representative number of polling stations nationwide, and conducted comprehensive quality assessment for election commissions compliance with legitimate procedures. The objective of the assessment was to identify key issues and typical violations of election law on the stage of conducting a preparatory meeting of polling station commissions and on the stage of opening polling stations, during the vote, during vote count at polling station commission, and during transportation of documentation to district election commissions. All violations recorded by OPORA observers, and problematic cases were statistically generalized during the election day, and classified in order to assess the nature of fraud and the level of illegitimate influence on the course of election process.
The most frequent violations recorded by OPORA observers on election day were attempts to give out ballots by members of election commissions without having voters to present the due documents (passport or temporary ID of the citizen of Ukraine, military ID for military conscripts). Such abuse on the part of electoral subjects took place at 14.5% of polling stations but there were no signs of such cases occurring in a systemic or intentionally planned manner. Due to prompt response of OPORA observers to such situations, in most cases the actual violation of the law was successfully prevented.
Disclosure of the secrecy of voting by voters through showing their voting results was the most frequently recorded violation on election day. Such cases were identified by observers in 10.4% of polling stations. At 4.8% of polling stations, cases were recorded related to voters taking photos of their ballots in the booth or outside the booth.
Other crucial electoral violations in scale or possible consequences were not identified on election day. In particular, OPORA observers failed to identify any episodes or facts of unlawful casting of ballots to ballot boxes at 99.4% of polling stations. Moreover, at 99% of polling stations no situations were identified when significant numbers of voters (20 or more) were impeded or restricted in their right to vote at a polling station.
On the stage of conducting preparatory meetings, the work of election commissions was generally duly organized. However, slightly over 5% of polling station commissions acted against the direct provision of the law and failed to provide for taking minutes of the preparatory meeting. 99.8% of commissions conducted morning meetings in an authorized status. No problems were recorded with attendance and presence at the meetings of members of election commissions. Almost 83% of polling station election commissions started the procedure of voting for voters in due time—within 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. According to OPORA, long delays in opening election commissions were recorded only in 0.23% of polling stations. On the other hand, 17% of polling stations opened for voting somewhat earlier than the time of 8:00 a.m. stipulated by the law.
Observers of Civil Network OPORA and other electoral subjects had an opportunity to conduct unconstrained observation over the course of all electoral procedures on the stage of conducting a morning meeting and start of voting. Under 1% of observers reported on some organizational problems or constraints created by election commission members preventing their presence at polling stations and conducting the observation.
According to estimates of OPORA observers, 97.7% of polling station commissions complied with the legitimate procedure of vote count. At 99.3% of polling station commissions, there were no problems identified related to authorized representation (available quorum) of election commissions on the stage of vote count. Cases of having third persons present at vote count were identified at 0.9% of polling station commissions. Observers failed to identify any problems related to having electoral subjects constrain the process of vote count at 99.3% of polling stations.
Upon the whole, the activities of the absolute majority of polling station commissions on election day took place in compliance with provisions of Ukrainian law and with no manifest signs of systemic fraud.
Quelle: OPORA, 01.04.2019, Externer Link: https://www.oporaua.org/en/statement/vybory/vybory-prezydenta/vybory-prezydenta-2019/17453-zaiava-gromadianskoyi-merezhi-opora-shchodo-poperednikh-rezultativ-sposterezhennia-na-viborakh-prezidenta-ukrayini-31-bereznia-2019-roku