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Kherson CVU predicts problems with election organization in steppe districts

20.07.2012    source:
The logic behind division of electoral districts has led to some in the Kherson region covering an area larger than Lebanon or Luxembourg, making the scope for electoral infringements huge

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] long-term observers have analyzed the newly created electoral districts in the Kherson region [oblast] from the point of view of convenience for organizing the electoral process.  They point to dangers which could cause serious problems during the elections,  

There are two main areas of danger:

- threats to the organization of the elections

- factors adversely affecting the possibilities for appealing and neutralizing the effect of infringements of electoral legislation.

The Head of the Kherson Regional CVU, Dementiy Bily explained at a press conference on Monday that the problems identified in organizing the elections in sparsely populated steppe areas arose from the general principles for the formation of electoral districts based solely on the average number of voters, as per the Law on the Parliamentary Elections.

These state that the number of voters in each district should not exceed 13% of the average number of voters in single-mandate electoral districts. This has resulted in all three rural districts being formed with the maximum number of voters possible.

The Tsyurupynsk electoral district, no. 186 has just over 180 thousand voters; the Kakhovska electoral district No. 185 – almost 180 thousand and the Nova Kakhovska Electoral District No. 184 – almost 178 thousand.

The smaller numbers of voters are in urban electoral districts.

As a result of this, the actual territory of the rural electoral districts is equivalent to some whole countries.

No 185, for example, is larger than Lebanon and also equivalent to the area of Kosovo. The other two can also be compared to countries in Europe.

This will result in difficulties in travel between precinct and district electoral commissions in three of the five electoral districts of the oblast.  To give just one example: the distance between certain polling stations and the district electoral commission in No. 184 is more than 100 kilometres.

Transport will also be complicated by ill-thought out moves in determining the centres of the electoral districts.

For the first time ever the Central Election Commission made the centre of No. 185 in Kakhovtsi, a city which is at the farthest western corner of this huge electoral district which in area is larger than Lebanon.

Given limited budgets and the state of the road and transport infrastructure, contact between precinct electoral commissions [PEC] and the district electoral commission [DEC] will be difficult. Problems can also be expected when transported ballot papers and protocols in order to count votes to remove inaccuracies and mistakes which could increase the number of trips by members of the PEC to the DEC. Swift response to electoral infringements in these rural areas will also be extremely difficult. 

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