Number of Voters for Coming Elections to Change
18 April, 2013
Number of Voters for Coming Elections to Change
Number of voters may be changed for coming Presidential elections. According to the State Services Development Agency, the voter database appears to contain over 500 thousand mistakes. They all have to be corrected till August.
“State Services Development Agency is responsible for the collection of personal information on citizens and serves as one of the most important basis for the voter database. We therefore started a large scale data checkup process. We plan to look into half a million items
of the database. The project covers both Tbilisi and regions and employs 65 people. We have already checked 6-7 thousand items.”
“We analyze database information and check every suspicious case by going to the place in question. Say, if 10 persons are found registered at a single address, we go there and validate the database record.”
“We also look out for duplications. If identity of a citizen is unknown or the record of his or her residence is obsolete we fill in the relevant protocol on removal of the record from registration,” – explains Levan Samadashvili, Head of State Services Development Agency.
According to him, in the next stage they are going to check adequacy of information about deceased persons with the data on ID cards and database records. The work should be over at the end of August. Then the Agency will forward the corrected data to the Central Elections Commission.
At the time of the October Parliamentary elections last year, the voter list counted 3 621 256 people. The list underwent a certain improvement at the hands of the Commission for the Refinement of the Voter List. Commission representatives personally went door to door to check every problematic records nationwide.
However, independent expert Nina Khatiskatsi remarks that despite repeated attempts of the State to refine the lists, the problem has persisted till today. “Voter lists are one of the most important topic among the issues related to election procedures. We remember a number of attempts to refine them. Of course, we welcome the statement by State Services Development Agency. It’s just a big question remains as to what extent the lists will be cleared in reality. We will know it only after the work is over.”
“The lists still belie a problem of multiple registrants per single location. The Agency attempted to sign them out during the last pre-election period too. The biggest issue about the lists however is that they contain persons who have left Georgia long ago,” – Khatiskatsi argues.
In her words, the best solution to the problem would be creation of biometric lists.
“In general, it could be better to set up identification of lists using photos. You surely remember that there were talks about electronic elections and electronic voter lists. Such lists would be the best remedy against duplication of records in the lists.”
“The voter list should always be available for everyone. Though, the CEC web site allows access to it only in the pre-election period. If instead the universal access is granted year-round then citizens could check correctness of their personal records any time. Monitoring of lists should not be sporadic lasting for one or two months only. Rather, it should be a permanent process,” – asserts Nina Khatiskatsi.
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