April 25, 2021, 15:30 pm – KRIIK calls on political parties and their supporters to assist the process and remove support groups from the vicinity of polling stations. The commissioners and all the staff in their support must respect the provisions of the Code by not allowing gatherings within 150 meters near the polling stations, and to facilitate as much as possible the way of the citizens towards them. We have several such cases, mainly in the area of Durrës and “ish-Këneta”. It is a phenomenon that according to observers has come to us in about 6% of polling stations. It is important that citizens who go to the polls feel safe, feel unharmed and not intimidated in their will as they go to the polls. It is important that political parties express the clear and complete will as they have so far. The expressed will of the political actors, supported and greeted and congratulated by all actors, including this observation action, is reflected at all levels of the parties, including their sympathizers and grassroots members. Let the citizens vote quietly and remove the militants from the polling stations. Their presence is an intimidating form, especially for citizens who are hesitant to vote or who do not belong to a political party.
Also in line with this call it is important that political observers maintain their role within polling stations. It is unfair and a violation of the principle of secret ballot for political observers to inform their party structures about citizens going to the polls. In all VCs, political observers have been identified who inform their subjects through smartphones, tablets or even loudly the names of the persons voting. This is the beginning of a chain that political parties have set up either for their supporters or to get information on which people have voted. This is not in line with ensuring the independence and secrecy of the vote. Despite the fact that political parties can be justified at this point to bring their supporters, this is what KRIIK has consistently evidenced in relation to the part of political patronage or intimidation. There is no reason for political observers to have information on who the citizens are voting in real time. VC commissioners should not allow this to happen, just as they should not allow the use of telephones and electronic devices.
Findings identified so far regarding the progress of the process, based on statistically based observation, with an error margin of 5% and a confidence level of 95%. Until 15.00, unauthorized persons were identified in the polling stations in the amount of 7% and party members were about 50% of them. In 9% of polling stations not all observers can easily see the secret rooms. In 7% of the polling stations, the voting procedures were done without posting the orientation posters published by the CEC. 6.5% of VCs lack the posting of candidate lists, an essential process for informing citizens what is the identification number of the candidate they want to support in the respective political force. The voter list is missing in 7% of VCs abroad. A significant part of VCs lacks the facilities for people with special voting abilities. In many cases, in 4% of VCs, voting is done without ticking the finger, but this is being verified as it is within the margin of error. We have cases when citizens are allowed to vote outside the secret room, 3 cases. Meanwhile, voters are allowed to use the telephone in the Polling Stations in 8% of VCs. While in 5% of VCs they are allowed to hold their mobile phones in secret rooms. This is forbidden, even in this issue has been emphasized by the State Election Commissioner.
PSC members must exercise their function in law enforcement. In some VCs, persons assisting more than one voter with disabilities to vote were identified in 6 cases. Also in 4 cases are the commissioners who helped these voters, despite the fact that this is prohibited by law. It is worrying that even in these elections family voting was observed in 24% of VCs. We call on the entire voting administration body and citizens to avoid family voting, which is an act punishable by law and violates the will of the voter.
In some cases, the voting process was suspended due to the non-functioning of the PEI, and then it was passed to the manual voting, in some VCs in the Municipality of Shkodra, Peshkopi, etc. This situation has caused delays and queues of voters. In VC 4307 in the Municipality of Gjirokastra, a voter was identified while photographing the vote. The vote was declared invalid and the case was referred to the police. In VC 4368, Memaliaj, the voting process was blocked due to disagreements between members of the commission for escorting a couple of blind elderly people who were not accompanied by family members. In VC 2396 in the municipality of Elbasan, the voting is done manually, and the commissioners complain about the increased presence in front of the polling station, but there is no decision to report the police forces. In this case the law stipulates that the state police must be notified. Also in VCs no. 23 96, 362, 2316, 2301 there is a lack of infrastructure for people with different abilities, creating difficulties in the voting for these people.
In CEAZ 79, in VC 43 91 a commissioner of the SMI was replaced, due to his health condition. In VC 28 60/1 in Lushnje, voters of the same family were identified who are not voters of this center but are voters, one in the 9-year school in Yzberisht Tirana, while the other in CEAZ-54.
In CEAZ 08 in the administrative unit, Qafë Mali, VC 398, a person with an expired identity card was not allowed to vote, despite the order to extend the deadline for their validity.
In VC 44 98, at 14.30, a person was identified who photographed the vote in Vlora, while the police was notified.
In Tirana, the presence of unauthorized persons outside was detected and the State Police was called, normalizing the situation and the process continued normally.
In VC 1767 in Tirana there were attempts to photograph the vote.
In the village of Lekbibaj, Tropoja VC 489 was reported to have had a physical conflict, due to political convictions. Voting was suspended for about four hours and one of the commission members left with the ballot paper.