EPDE observers visited 1049 polling stations during the presidential elections in Ukraine in 2014
Kyiv, 25th May
At 8:00pm, international observers of the short-term monitoring mission attended 1049 polling stations in 9 regions of Ukraine: Kiev, districts of Kiev, Lviv, Poltava, Odessa, Zhitomir, Chernigov, Dnepropetrovsk and the northern part of Lugansk district. It is worth noting that monitoring was carried out not only in Ukrainian districts but also in the embassies of Ukraine in the Russian Federation and Finland. Unfortunately, observers were not allowed to attend the polling station in the Ukrainian Consulate in Rostov on Don.
Voting has now finished, but observers continue to monitor the vote counting process.
Observation was carried out by mobile teams of two international observers and one observer from civil network OPORA (Ukraine).
Members of election commissions were generally friendly to EPDE Mission observers. Only ten cases of admission difficulties to the polling site were recorded.
By 8:00pm, no reports of gross violations such as ballot stuffing, voting for others in collusion with the commission, or bribery of voters were recorded.
PEC #440266 in the same region received a threatening phone call warning that the station would be captured. The electoral commission decided to close early. At the same site, voting from home was not available because of lack of transport.
In Starobielsk (Lugansk region) during the preparations for the elections at a polling station (# 440562) PEC members were replaced three times as a result of potential threats. At 13:00 the turnout at this PEC was around 15%.
In the remaining regions observers noted some violations. The most common one was the lack of posters providing information about the candidates, with 87 such cases reported.
In 33 cases, near the polling station observers noted the presence of electioneering closer than 50 meters from the polling station. In 6 cases the movement of observers was restricted at the polling station.
At 33 polling stations our observers found campaign materials closer than legal minimum of 50 meters from the polling station.
There were 6 cases noting restriction on the relocation of observers at the polling station.
24 sites were noted by international observers’ for infringing procedures concerning issuing bulletins, with multiple members of the commission issuing a single bulletin, rather than individual reports. At 9 PECs the ability of observers to conduct video recording was limited.
Significantly, international observers managed to visit polling stations within penal colonies as well as those in the community. Observers visited a polling station in Sokal penal colony (Lviv region).
International election observation of the 2014 presidential elections in Ukraine is being carried out in order to provide objective assessment of the electoral procedures on behalf of the country’s population. This mission is a public initiative of civil society activists and is both non-political and non-governmental.
Since May 8, 2014, EPDE has been carrying out its observation for the May 25, 2014 presidential election. The aim of the EPDE is to promote civic election monitoring in Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation and to develop democratic electoral processes. EPDE conducts both long-term expert monitoring and short-term monitoring on the Election Day involving independent observers. Most of these observers are from Russia and are highly experienced observers who have participated in more than one national mission in partnership with GOLOS, SONAR, Citizen Observer, Rosvybor, St. Petersburg Observers, and other civic associations. The mission relies on the Ukrainian members of EPDE: the Committee of Voters of Ukraine and Civil Society Network OPORA.