Voting Protocols rewritten in Electoral District No. 155
An OPORA observer recorded flagrant infringements of electoral legislation which formed the grounds for a recount of the votes at one of the polling stations in Electoral District No. 155 (centre in Dubrovytsa, Rivne oblast). The District Electoral Council has, however, refused to carry out a recount at other stations where the same infringements were recorded.
During the night following the elections (from 28 to 29 October) members of the Precinct Electoral Commission [PEC] rewrote on a large scale protocols on the results of the voting. The members did not react to the objections from the OPORA observer, pointing out that this was illegal. The head of the commission who was also informed that this was unlawful failed to respond adequately. Instead he asked observers to not interfere in the process citing the need to swiftly pass the documents.
The infringements recorded on vide and in photos show that in No. 155 there was large-scale vote-rigging. The observers, for example, established that members of the commission delivered to the District Electoral Commission [DEC]counted packages with ballot papers for majoritarian candidates which did not contain information about the number of ballot papers.
Furthermore members of the PEC had the polling station stamp with them, as well as protocols which were blank except for the signatures of all members of the commission and observers. In the DEC they made marks indicating the number of ballot papers and immediately rewrote the protocols. The members of the PEC could therefore seriously distort the choice made by voters.
It should be noted that after the observer photographed the blank protocols from one of the polling stations, the head of the DEC called a meeting regarding a recount of votes at that DEC. However this decision was only taken over one of the polling stations where they had not had time to add new data to the blank protocols. With regard to the polling stations where analogous infringements were observed, the members of the DEC refused to carry out a recount.