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Dead People Also Vote

December 28, 2007
Presidential Election in the Next World

According to the Election Code amendments cannot be introduced to the voters list after date is expired. 3 million and 400 thousand voters are registered in General Election List. Although statements are made about violations, dead people are included in the list and they will vote in the presidential election on January 5, 2008. The representatives of NGOs and political organizations suppose that the election might be falsified. The observers from International Organizations also have some complaints about the Central Election Commission. 

According to specialists the gaps in the voters’ list are frequently used for falsification. The heads of presidential candidates’ regional offices state that similar violations are mostly observed in election list.

“The members of our office have discovered a lot of dead people enrolled in the voters’ list. We examined several election districts and found out hundreds of dead people. Besides there are cases when one person is registered for several times which may be the precondition for falsifying the election,” declares Zviad Kviralashvili the head of Gurjaani Election Office of Levan Gachechiladze, the presidential candidate.

Deter Baden the head of OSCE observing mission has certain remarks concerning the voters’ list, although Levan Tarkhnishvili the head of the Central Election Commission do not accept the notes. Tarkhnishvili declares that they talk too much but only a few appeals have arrived at the Central Election Commission.

“The process of observing voters’ list is finished. To create electoral lists and to check them is technical side and do not have any connection with political issues. 3 million and 400 thousand people are registered in the voters list. Nobody has right to impose any restrictions on the voters who are 18 year old and have the citizenship of Georgia or IDs even if they do not live in the address where they are registered. The verification process contained two stages. Finally 2/3 of the total number of voters and 65 485 omitted people were added to the list. 28 123 dead people are excluded from the voters list,” defined Tarkhnishvili.

Soso Shatberashvili, Labor Party: “Tarkhnishvili lies. He tells sheer lie to Deter Baden and other observers as well. He and current government are interested only to maintain their power. We daily announce about the violations that occur during pre election campaign and it would be enough for them to take appropriate measures and react on them. Herewith we have handed a huge amount of dead voters list to the Central Election Commission before the date for introducing amendments to the list expired, although nothing has been changed.’

Even the representatives of the European Council do not give positive assessment about voters’ list. Giga Bokeria the member of parliamentary majority declared about it. “They have skeptical approach towards additional lists. The reason of it is possible falsification. We informed them about the measures we have taken in the latest model that was adopted by Georgian parliament. I think they would be satisfied with our arguments”.

“I will repeat once again that the whole mechanism is created to enable our society to participate in the election and to guarantee them that their voices will not be used for falsification,” stated Bokeria.

The lawyers do not trust the ruler party that they are going to hold fair elections.

“If a voter does not go to the election district falsifiers will have opportunity to use their ballots. The Commission member who knows the situation will sign instead of the voter and drop the ballot into the box.”   

It is easy to use the votes of the people who live abroad and are not registered there; in Georgia election lists do not indicated that these people are abroad. It will enable falsifier to use their vote.

Another case is special list of voters with notes ‘voter is moved to the annex”. Falsifiers get advantage of similar lists very well. It enables them to vote twice in the name of that person: once when box is brought and on the second time when the voter arrives at the election district,’ said Vakhtang Khmaladze, the lawyer.

Experts claim that the safest is to include voters with their current address which belongs to that particular electoral district but in fact it is not a permanent address of the voter. “In similar case voter can vote at two election districts; s/he can produce pasport at the first election district and at the second one s/he can show only ID. Such person can vote at several districts,” said Khmaladze.

As for marking the voters as a source to protect from falsification, experts think that there is no chemical substance in the world which cannot be removed by another one.

Experts also claim that elections on January 5 are carried out with the lists that were used during parliamentary elections on November 2, 2003.

Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti