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12 Aug 2019

CEC chair: Early voting is convenient for voters

CEC chair: Early voting is convenient for voters

MINSK, 12 August (BelTA) – Early voting is a convenient and effective form of voting as far as voters are concerned, Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission (CEC) Lidia Yermoshina said in an interview with the First National Channel of Belarusian Radio, BelTA has learned.

“Early voting is very effective. Some 31% of voters opted for it at the 2016 elections. This form of voting is very convenient for voters and we will not drop it. Those who call for abandoning it do not understand the entire electoral technology. More than that, they are okay with a low number of voters, while we strive for the highest turnout possible. Therefore, this option will still be available. By the way, early voting is a common European practice,” Lidia Yermoshina said.   

When asked about a broader use of transparent ballot boxes at poling stations, the CEC chairperson noted that transparency of elections is achieved not through transparent ballot boxes, but through election observation. “Over seven observers on average is present, registered and accredited at every polling station. Can it be more transparent? As for such ballot boxes, we have them. About 70% of ballot boxes used in Vitebsk Oblast are transparent. The figure stands at about 50% in Minsk Oblast, though in Mogilev Oblast their number is small. Nevertheless, I would not say that the number of complaints in Vitebsk Oblast is smaller than that in Mogilev Oblast. Elections in Mogilev Oblast always have alternatives, while in Vitebsk Oblast it is not always the case. Therefore, people tend to condition the efficiency of government and integrity of elections upon some paraphernalia. This is not right. Everything depends on people who arrange  elections, their integrity, and naturally voters and candidates,” Lidia Yermoshina added.

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