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GYLA summarizes the process of reviewing complaints in the District Election Commissions

2020-11-06 13:44
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The District Election Commissions have completed the consideration of the complaints submitted for the annulment of the Precinct Summary Protocols and the request for a recount of the results. GYLA filed a complaint against 109 [1] Electoral Precincts across the country, requesting the annulment of the Summary Protocols and recalculation of the data, from which:

- The sealed documentation of 19 Precincts has been opened and recalculated, [2] as a result of which the data of 23 Summary Protocols were defined more accurately. (Detailed information on the precincts and results can be found here);

- In respect of 2 Electoral Precincts, GYLA withdrew the request after it was convinced of the accuracy of the disputed data;

- The request regarding 9 Precincts remained without consideration due to the electronic submission of the complaint [3];

- GYLA complaints regarding 79 Electoral precincts were not satisfied and/or remained unreviewed. Leaving without consideration/review was caused by the rejection of the complaints of other organizations before the GYLA's complaint on the same issue was considered.

- Although the questions regarding the Summary Protocols of all 79 precincts have not been removed, GYLA will appeal the results of only 38 precincts in court, which includes up to a total of 60 different Summary Protocols. (Detailed information on the precincts which summary protocols GYLA plans to appeal in court can be found here);

Given the tight time and limited resources for filing a lawsuit in court, the organization prioritized litigation in districts where more complaints have been submitted in total. Also, GYLA does not pursue disputes in the precincts where mainly the majoritarian summary protocols were appealed, and according to preliminary data, given the difference between the first and second, as well as the second and third-place candidates, the annulment of the appealed protocols cannot affect the results of the majoritarian elections.

Regarding the process of submitting and reviewing complaints in the District Election Commissions, the following tendencies have been identified:

- The complete documentation (explanations, amendment protocols) was uploaded late in the CEC online database for a number of precincts. Cases of deletion/replacement of originally uploaded documentation have also been detected. This interfered/hindered the appeals process and created a sense of manipulation in the process of delaying the drafting of additional documentation and rectifying the imbalance.

- In many cases, the District Election Commissions corrected the data by their own decree based on the explanations of the Precinct Election Commission members before reviewing the complaint, so that the sealed documents have not been opened and the accuracy of the explanatory data have not been established.

- The review process in the District Election Commissions had mainly a formal character, decisions on the rejection of the complaint were made inconsistently and unfoundedly.

- District Election Commissions generally did not combine complaints filed by different entities on the same precinct into a single proceeding. Following the rejection of the first complaint in a row, complaints filed by other organizations on the same issue were left without consideration/review.

- Explanations of Precinct Election Commission members and/or amendment protocols drawn up the next day, despite their ambiguity and implausibility, without any further verification, were generally considered credible by District Election Commissions and they were not trying to clarify/determine the facts by opening sealed documents and verifying data. Among them, some District Election Commissions were openly stating that they could not verify everything because "this [district] was not a court."

GYLA believes that the election administration did not comprehend the severity of the political crisis in the country and did not use the opportunities that would remove the questions related to the reliability/credibility of the data reflected in the summary protocols. GYLA calls on the election administration to reconsider its decisions on its own initiative and recount the data of all suspicious Electoral Precinct.

[1]  GYLA does not rule out similar problems are recorded in other summary protocols, however, GYLA disputes only those protocols verification of which have been managed in a timely manner.

[2]  Complete data (number of signatures, number of votes cast for candidates, annulled/invalid ballots) were counted only in individual cases, in other cases, only specific data (e.g. record book) was opened and verified.

[3]  The Bolnisi and Kobuleti District Election Commissions initially agreed to accept the complaint electronically (registered and assigned a number), but later left the complaints unconsidered.