Threat of shenanigans with ballot papers
The local elections this year will also be distinguished by the large number of ballot papers that each voter receives. This, as well as the lack of proper protection of the blank forms, could lead to rigging during the elections.
Each voter will receive on average 5-6 ballot papers depending on where they live. For example, in Lviv a voter will receive 5 papers – two for the regional councils, two for the district and a list of mayoral candidates.
In villages, on top of the candidate lists names, there are also lists for settlement councils and for another Head. The average voter will not find it easy to cope with this. According to the Executive Director of the Lviv Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU], Oksana Dashchakivska, it is all the fault of the new legislation.
“This means that people who are not well-up on it can not receive a certain number of powers which can then be used for a certain candidate or political party. This is the main danger”.
The civic network OPORA draw attention to the fact that elderly people in villages may ask observers or members of the commissions for help being overwhelmed by such a quantity of papers and that too will lead to violations.
They also warn that queues will be unavoidable since it will take a long time to find names in the long lists.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that at some precincts there are far more voters than is permitted by law. Whereas the law states that there should be no more than 2,5 thousand, in Lviv there are many precincts where there are 3 thousand or more.
It is also dangerous that the papers will receive minimum protection since they will be printed on the commission of local electoral commissions and on local printing presses, CUV’s Oksana Dashchakivska points out. That means that all electoral participants will need to pay close attention to the printing, transportation, unpacking and issue of these documents.