Monday, March 12, 2012

ISFED's survey indicates potential "Vote Rigging in Georgian Elections"

Potential Vote Rigging in Georgian Elections,  US-Government Funded Survey, ISFED, indicates

TBILISI – democracy is alive and well in Georgia, best that money can buy, and based on a new survey just over four in ten votes to be votes cast in the parliamentary election this October (41 percent) may not be cast by the people entitled to cast them, as mistakes in the register have provided a windfal for massive vote-rigging by President Mikheil Saakashvili’s apparatus and possibly others, such as parties funded by NED, the National Endowement for Democracy. 

According to so called “official” figures, Georgia has 3,565,000 registered voters. The total population is recorded as 4,469,000. Just how many of these people are suspected to have died or living outside of the country is open to serious debate, even the claims by the quoted survey has not been totally verified by other reliable researchers.

Nonetheless, after carefully study of the voter lists, the non-governmental organization International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), which has been monitoring the election process in Georgia for years, has stated that 41% of the registered voters, in other words 1,460,000 people have been incorrectly included in the list. 

Naturally in keeping with “making hay while the sun shines” opportunities, a door is open to the illegal casting and counting these votes  and throwing the election.
Nino Lomjaria, Head of ISFED explains that the organization arrived at this number last fall after examining the public voters lists published in August 2011. The figure is based on a selective survey of lists all over Georgia, and has been extrapolated from that sample.

The survey shows that more than 99% of the population is registered in the list, so non-registration of voters is not a problem. Furthermore, “The instance of dead voters still being included on the electoral list is also very minor. In fact, they number less than 1% of the registered voters,” Nino Lomjaria says, adding that the main problem is of a different kind.

“When we investigated, in nearly 41% of cases we were unable to find any trace of the registered voter at the address specified, which means that nearly 41% of voters are not living at the addresses at which they are registered on the common list. In 9.1% of these cases, we can definitely say that this is the result of internal migration. In another 6.8% of these cases we can definitely say that the voter is an external migrant, who has gone abroad. In the remaining 25% of such cases we could find no one who knew the registered voter or had any information about where they were. There are also cases in which the flat an elector is registered at is either closed or empty”, she explains.
The number of improver or illegal registrations is alarming. It is clear, and based on the documented history of election fraud in Georgia, before and after 2003, that this is a potential time bomb. It means that potentially 40-41%, four out of ten votes in the forthcoming parliamentary election could be fraudulently cast, and this does not include the ballot box stuffing and voters voting at many different places, with fake ID that was common in the last election, as documented by the Georgian Human Rights center and other Human Rights Watchdogs. 

“The government can use this for its advantage, as can other political parties. Those who are working outside of Georgia can be registered at a polling station with relative ease and then someone else can actually vote in their place, and even get paid ....  

A final question remains, just how many Georgians there actually are in the world, and if the official census is for the purpose of knowing how many citizens there are or the number of votes that can be cast, illegal or otherwise. It is clear, the current government of Georgia has an absolute advantage when it comes to vote rigging and its track record makes the Russians look beginners in their recent presidential election.

It is clear that in the upcoming election that many votes will be cast for the ruling National party, or even those outside supported parties that can pay the most; many of these votes will like be rigged rigged in the style of getting George W. Bush elected as president in the United States - in the great state of Florida. 

-- - mmm... Fastmail...

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