Press Release voter list display process
October 1, 2015
PACE observes a generally open voter list process but notes limited mobilization efforts, modest voter participation Starting on September 14, the People’s Alliance for Credible Elections (PACE) deployed 110 Long Term Observers to 110 townships across the country to observe the national voter list display process.
From September 14-27, PACE observed 868 display centers across all states and regions in a roughly equal number of urban and rural display locations. Overall, PACE found that the process was generally open to voters who wanted to participate. However, voter education and
mobilization was limited. Civil society organizations and political parties were notably absent in centers where PACE observed. Voter turnout
seemed quite modest and not as high as many had hoped given concerns about the lists’ quality. According to officials in locations where PACE observed, most voters were submitting forms to add names to the list, some were correcting details, and few were
deleting names. Positively, PACE was allowed to observe in nearly every display center. Overall, most display centers observed had the materials they needed, were set up in a convenient way for voters and had staff providing assistance to voters. However, some
locations PACE observed were not open during all official hours as mandated by the UEC.
Sai Ye Kyaw Swar Myint from PACE said, “Mobilizing voters to check their name is a good way to relieve the public concerns over
the voter list, but we didn’t see high participation this time. Nevertheless we definitely need a solution for those concerns for
the long-term. We hope that the UEC and parties can have a dialogue to mitigate concerns before the election and discuss
areas for improvement in future voter list processes.” According to PACE’s methodology, observers stayed in display locations for the entire day to observe the whole process. PACE observers did not check the names or data on the voter list. PACE observers deployed each day of the display period except for September 18th and 25th.
In most centers observed, PACE did not see serious problems that prevented voters from participating in the process, like intimidation or interference. However, PACE observers noted a lack of voter outreach in many display locations and political parties and civil society
organizations were absent from 90% and 82% of centers observed respectively. Throughout the two-week process, PACE observers noted quite modest turnout in centers observed. In 28% of locations observed, PACE did not see any voters submitting forms. However, 26% of locations were more active with dozens of voters submitting forms to add names or make changes to the list. According to information
received from display officials in locations observed, most voters were submitting for ms to add their name to the list, some were changing details on the list and few were deleting names from the list. In approximately 10% of locations, PACE observers noted that a few (between 1
-10) voters left without making a change to the list because they could not prove their identity or residency—this problem was twice as common in urban places.
Positively, PACE observers were allowed to observe in 99% of display centers visited. In addition, 93% of observed centers had all the necessary forms and 82% were set up in a convenient way for voters. In 89% of locations observed, officials were providing assistance to voters and in most centers, observers said officials were providing equal help to all voters. However, 17% of locations observed were not open during all official hours of the display. Overall, PACE was pleased that they were able to observe the process with few problems.
Looking forward to the election, PACE hopes that voter mobilization efforts by the UEC, political parties and CSO will increase to improve voter participation.