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Press Statement – December 9, 2018 - 11:00 pm

Press Statement – December 9, 2018 - 11:00 pm

Akanates Observation Mission December 9, 2018 Snap Parliamentary Elections

Election day preparation and the voting process were generally conducted in line with the law. 63 serious violations reported.

December 9 is International Anti-Corruption Day, and it is symbolic that on this date, over the course of a long period, this is the first time that the Armenian people have the opportunity to freely express their will and to choose a representative parliament. 

At this moment we can conclude that the Election day preparation and the voting process took place in a peaceful environment and Armenian citizens were fully able to exercise their right to vote.

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Akanates conducted election observation in all marzes of Armenia on December 9 2018 for the first time using sample-based (SBO) observation methodology. The SBO methodology evaluates the quality of election day processes using a random, representative sample of polling stations in all marzes. Using the methodology, the observation is able to accurately measure the quality of election day processes, including the opening, voting, closing and counting processes nationwide. While observers are not present in every polling station, the statistical nature of the sampling methodology means that the results are representative for the entire country.

As part of Akanates initiative, 581 observers were deployed to a sample of 300 polling stations across the country, along with 52 mobile observer teams and 41 District Electoral Commissions observers. The mobile teams visited 503 additional polling stations on election day. 41 District Electoral Commissions observers started their observation of 37 DECs at 20:00. Supporting the observation at a Yerevan coordinating center were 30 lawyers and 30 call center operators.

Key Findings

The voting and closing processes process throughout Armenia were generally calm and conducted in accordance with the law. Observers found that there were largely no issues with prescribed  voting procedures. There were few serious violations or critical incidents.

During voting procedures, the rights of authorized persons to be present inside polling stations were hindered in 2.67 % of polling stations (one or more cases). The polling station commissions mostly logged violations identified by observers in their log books, though in 5.67% of polling stations violations

were not registered (one or more cases). In 17% of polling stations, there were 1-3 cases of voters checking in to vote, but signatures already existed next to their names. In 1.33% of polling stations, due to the presence of an existing signature next to a voter’s name, they were not allowed to vote (1-3 cases).

Some voter’s names were not registered on the Voter Authentication Devices. There were 1-3 cases of voter names no registered at 24.3 % of polling stations, 4-10 cases at 4.33%, and 11-20 cases at 1%.

No voting was observed without proper voter identification documents.

Generally, the secrecy of the vote was respected. However, in 3.33% of polling stations, there was a deliberate violation. In 21.67% of polling stations, open voting was observed (1-3 cases); in 7.33% there were 4-10 cases, and 1.67% with 11 or more cases.

Family voting continues to be a common practice. At 24.33 % of polling stations, there were 1-3 cases, 10% with 4-10 cases, 4% with 11 or more cases of family voting.

Guided voting (where someone directed the voter how to vote) has been observed with 1-10 cases being observed at 6 % of polling stations.  

Violations in proper procedure for voter assistance was observed at 6 % of polling stations (one or more cases).  

2 % of polling stations closed before 20:00, while 94% closed on time at 20:00, and 4 % from 20:01-20:15.

Critical Violations

Instead of reporting for every single minor incident, Akanates in now reporting on incidents which may have a serious impact on the electoral process. Akanates received 63 reports on critical incidents related to voting procedures as follows:

 Type of Violation Number of Incidents Number of Polling Stations
Presence of unauthorized persons 15 15
Secrecy of the vote violated 7 7
Violence, threats, or pressure 3 3
Polling station refusal to record Akanates violations or complaints 20 14
Multiple voting and/or voting in place of another 3 3
Unauthorized or improper voter assistance 6 6
Open voting 3 3
Guided voting (how to vote) 6 6

Akanates’ next statement will be released on December 10, 2018. A press conference is scheduled for 11:00 am on Monday, December 10, 2018 at the Hilton Hotel at Grigor Lusavorich Street 4/2, Yerevan 0015 in the Paris Hall.

Press Contact
Levon Barseghyan
Phone: 091 821363

This mission is made possible by the financial support from the European Union, National Endowment for Democracy, United States Agency for International Development, National Democratic Institute and Open Society Foundations – Armenia.

The contents are responsibility of “Akanates” (Eyewitness) observation initiative and its member organizations and do not necessarily reflect the official views of donor organizations.