Press Release: Vote-List-Display Observation
Preliminary findings; First Weekend (February 1 to 8, 2017)
February 13, 2017
The following findings are based on direct observations by PACE observers in 22 randomly selected wards and villages across the by-election areas during the four days between February 2 and 5.
PACE observers see voter education materials at more than four out of each five locations around the display centers but no trainings or meetings of voter education were seen at all. As observers are only observing in and around the immediate vicinity of the center, it is possible that voter education training or meeting could be happening in other locations.
▪ At more than four out of each five locations (82%), there were voter education materials, but at approximately 18% of the locations PACE did not see any voter education materials.
▪ PACE observers saw posters in approximately 75% of locations and pamphlets in 24%. In 12% of locations, PACE observed the use of loudspeakers. PACE observers did not see any voter education meetings or trainings during the period of observation.
▪ In more than half (52%) of the locations, no actor was observed conducting voter education activities. In one third of the places (34%), the local election sub-commissions were conducting voter education activities; in 18% of the places, CSOs are conducting voter education.
Display Center Management and Materials
To understand the administrative procedures of the centers, PACE observed their layout, the presence of materials, opening hours, and the behavior of display officials to ensure that changes requested by voters would be processed according to UEC’s guidelines.
▪ 95% of the centers started voter list display on February 1 as scheduled and opened the updating process to the public all the time during the observation period.
▪ In all centers, PACE was allowed to observe.
▪ 94% of the centers had all necessary forms and displayed the voters list.
▪ In 77% of the centers, lists were displayed so that all voters, including elderly and disabled, could easily see the list.
▪ At 94% of the centers, display officials were present and of the officials present, 88% were providing assistance to people who required it.
Presence of Political Parties and CSOs
During the first week of the display, PACE found that at most centers observed there were no political party representatives or other CSO volunteers present.
▪ At approximately 86% of the centers, PACE did not see any political party representatives.
▪ At approximately 78% of the centers, PACE did not see any other civil society volunteers.
Turnout and Submission of Changes
In centers PACE observed, observers saw quite modest turnout overall.
● In 57% of centers, PACE did not observe any voters submitting forms. PACE cannot say why voters did not submit forms. In 39% of centers, only a few people (1 to10) submitted forms to make changes to the list.
Intimidation and Interference
A safe environment is one of the most important factors contributing to voter turnout. PACE observed whether any intimidation occurred in and around the centers. In nearly all of the centers, we did not see intimidation of voters or interference by unauthorized persons.
▪ In nearly all centers, PACE did not see any intimidation of voters.
▪ In nearly all centers, PACE did not see any interference by unauthorized persons in the process.
To Union Election Commission (UEC)
Reaching out to the voters is still a big challenge and UEC should intensify voter education for the rest of the display.
If UEC decides to extent the display period, the detail schedules (where, when, how) should be public and, more effective and efficient mechanism should be developed to reached out the voters.
To Political Parties
Political parties should develop an effective strategy for reaching out or mobilizing the voters.
To Civil Society
To identify and assess the places where voter education and mobilization are weak, intensify voter education programs at those areas.