CVU Concern over reduction in staff responsible for the State Voter Register
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine has issued a statement expressing concern over the reduction in the number of staff in the department keeping the State Register of Voters.
CVU has noted a trend in the majority of regions to reduce the number of employees in the bodies responsible for keeping the State Voter Register in connection with the administrative reforms in the country. Local authorities are presently considering the relevant plans for staffing schedules. If these are approved, the situation for the State Voter Register will take on dangerous proportions.
With each election CVU has reported improvement in the quality of voter lists largely thanks to the conscientious work of most members of staff of the bodies in charge of running the State Register with these departments often understaffed as it is. The State Register of Voters, nevertheless, remains far from perfect and therefore any reduction in staff can only lead to a deterioration in the quality of the voter database.
After the adoption on 21 September 2010 of the new version of the Law on the State Register of Voters, monthly updating of data was introduced as opposed to quarterly as before. This must increase the workload on members of staff.
While aware of the need to reduce the State apparatus and of the importance of administrative reform in Ukraine, CVU would stress that any steps in this direction must only be carried out after detailed analysis and with the relevant public argumentation.
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine therefore calls on regional and district State administrations, city councils (which have State Voter Register bodies) to maintain the number of bodies of this Register established by the Cabinet of Ministers and refrain from attempts to reduce them. This must directly affect the quality of the voter lists and therefore on observance of voters’ rights.