On May 2008 TI Georgia conducted a monitoring of the polling and counting procedures in the region of Kvemo Kartli. The organization deployed its monitors to 110 polling stations in the following five election districts: Marneuli, Gardabani, Bolnisi, Dmanisi, and Tsalka, thus covering 40% of the polling stations in the region with 51% of voters in those five districts. The monitoring targeted precincts with the highest numbers of registered voters in the respective districts and ones where the majority of registered voters were ethnic minorities.
In 56 out of the 110 polling stations monitored by TI Georgia the monitors noted significant breaches of election legislation. The problems ranged from poor the qualifications of the Precinct Election Commission (PEC) members carouseling the voting, ballot stuffing, other duties. A total of 137 appeals have been compiled involving election violations in all 110 precincts.
Among the most frequently observed violations were: Precinct Election Commission members agitating voters in the polling station in favor of the ruling party, voters marking ballot papers outside polling booths, voters being allowed to vote without presenting ID cards or upon presenting other persons’ ID cards, proxy voting, inconsistent application of inking, Precinct Election Commission members following voters into polling booths, voters entering polling booths in groups of two and more, the presence of unauthorized persons during polling and counting procedures, and the correcting of summary protocols. In addition to these problems, the electoral process was marred by the refusal of Precinct Election Commissions to register TI Georgia’s and other election day monitors’ appeals.
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