Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Inflated turnout, non-transparent vote counting. Summarization of election results in Mahilioŭ

“During the voting at polling station No. 6 I took my ballot with me. However, in the final protocol of the precinct commission it is stated that the number of the ballots issued to electors is equal to the number of the ballots in the ballot box”, says Aliaksei Kolchyn, who observed the elections at polling station No. 56.

According to the human rights activist, there was a considerable discrepancy between the number of voters counted by the electors and those presented in the protocols of PECs.

At the polling station where I monitored the elections, 351 people voted during the early voting, 578 – on election day. However, our numbers are 267 during early voting, 360 on the election day.

He also notes that it took the commission only 9 minutes to count the votes after the end of the voting on election day. None of the present observers could observe the process, as the commission closely surrounded the table.

Similar observations are presented by Barys Bukhel, who monitored the elections at polling station No. 117.

“When the PEC posted the protocol of voting on the last day of early voting, we saw there 195 extra voters compared to cour calculations. Meanwhile, we looked whether their and our data matched every ten minutes. Everything was alright until the last minutes of voting. I and my colleague Nasta Tarasenka filed a complaint on this matter, which was dismissed.

“After the PEC announced the results of vote counting, it became known that, according to them, 1,175 people voted on the election day, which is 303 larger than our number, 872 people. It is impossible to throw in such a large number of ballots in the ballot box and go unnoticed. It means that they could just announce the necessary number, which didn't correspond to the number of the ballots that were counted. They could also do it with the box for early voting. It means, that, including the 195 voters that had been added before that, the number of fake voters is 498 persons,” reported Barys Bukhel.

According to him, neither he, nor his colleagues could observe the vote counting – the table of the PEC members was too far away, and the commission members surrounded it in a tight ring, so that one couldn't see anything except for their backs. Before that, the commission refused grant the request of the observer of the United Civil Party Aliaksandr Sizarenka, in which he asked that the vote counting be held by one member of the commission who would announce the vote in each ballot and show the ballot to all members of the commission and the observers.

“The vote counting was attended by a member of the diplomatic corps, Frederic Stern, with his interpreter. I told him in details about all violations. I was especially amused by the fact that they decided to again “count” the votes in several minutes in order to assure the American guest that everything was alright.

On the voting day, we counted electors at polling station No. 118, located in one hall with polling station No. 117, but on the other side. According to our uninterrupted counting, there voted 725 electors, whereas the number in the protocol is 1,165. Thus, at least 390 voters were added at polling station No. 118. Observers in that commissions had to sit very far from the table at which the votes were counted by the PEC members and could not hear what was announced by the commission chairperson.

"Mahilioŭ Viasna"