At a press conference held today at the EPDE Media Center in Kyiv, Oleksii Koshel, Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU), called on the Central Election Commission (CEC) to distribute material to all members of election commissions to be reminded of their role and the procedures involved in reporting violations, and to ignore any provocations made against them. At the same time, he positively assessed the work of the CEC during the campaign.
“Our major concern during this election is mobile voting, as there are around 900,000 people in Ukraine that vote outside of polling stations due to various reasons”, Koshel said. “The risk of voter manipulation is higher here as it is the most unprotected way of voting”. According to Koshel, there are serious concerns that these voters could be target by campaigners and persuaded or pressured to vote for a certain candidate.
Although the publication of different polls, such as surveys and exit polls, is prohibited two days before the election, CVU have identified seven internet publications which have published surveys today, the 29 March, which therefore have violated electoral legislation.
CVU observers are going to take a closer look at election canvassing on Election Day, which is banned according to legislation and which was widely observed during past elections. Members of election commissions, as well as voters, shall refrain from hidden canvassing. Voters should also refrain from taking any photos of their ballot or in polling stations, which is even encouraged by some campaigners even though this could lead to a criminal case being brought against the individual involved.
CVU analyst Denis Rybachok highlighted the issue of continued election campaigning, which is supposed to cease on Saturday, the day before the Election Day, yet is often continued, thus violating electoral legislation. “Legal cases against such hidden forms of campaigning are, however, often unsuccessful when brought to court”, Rybachok said.
Rybachok also warned that voters who want to vote in a polling station other than the precinct where they are registered need to re-register early for the second round of elections to avoid long queues on the last day of registration.
Voters should also be made aware that they can only vote using one of three different forms of ID: their passport, temporary citizen card, or their military ticket. No other document can be used.