Registration Rules and Rights of Local Observer Organizations
Registration Rules and Rights of Local Observer Organizations
(Organic Law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia” - article 39, 40, 41)
Local observer organization shall be a local non-profit organization (non-commercial) legal entity registered under Georgian legislation no later than 1 year before the polling day, the Statute or another founding document shall be envisaged to monitor the election and/or protection of human rights at the moment of registration and which is registered in the CEC or relevant DEC for the purpose of observing elections.
The CEC shall register a local observer organization observing elections in more than one electoral district.
The respective DEC shall register a local observer organization observing elections in one electoral district.
In order to be registered, a domestic election observer organization shall apply to the relevant election commission no later than the 10th day before the polling day and shall submit an extract from the Register of Entrepreneurial and Non-Entrepreneurial (Non-Commercial) Legal Entities. The extract shall be prepared by the National Agency of Public Registry - a legal entity of public law of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and should be issued within the last 10 days before submitting the application to the election commission and it shall indicate the person/persons authorized to be organization’s management/representation. The application shall include the name of the electoral district(s) where the organization shall monitor elections. The election commission shall make a decision on registration within five days after receipt of the application.
A registered local observer organization shall submit the application no later than 5th day before polling day to the secretary of relevant DEC for observers’ registration at election commissions based on the procedure defined by the CEC; the latter should indicate that a list of observers comply with the requirements defined by the 4 paragraph of article 39 of the organic law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia” as well as the list of observers appointed at CEC, DEC, and PEC as an annex (surname, name, place of registration and ID number of Georgian citizen) and copy of ID number of Georgian citizen, in electronic form - excel format (through CD or in any other electronic means) and copies of ID card or passport of Georgian citizen. (Order №297/2016 of 14 July 2016 of the Central Election Commission of Georgia on determining the electronic form of annex to the application of appointment observers by the local observer organization).
Registered local observer organizations may appoint their observers through electronic means, in online mode, in the Election Process Management System (EPMS) administered by the election administration.
Following the issuance of the relevant decree on the submission and registration of the application with the request of registration, local observer organizations will be provided with a unique username (USER) and password in case they choose electronic registration. Local observer organizations will be able in electronic space to perform relevant procedures (appointment/removal of the observer), electronically receive updates, and download necessary election documentation, legal acts.
The relevant election commission secretary shall, no later than two days after the list of observers is submitted, register observers nominated under this Law and shall issue an observer’s certificate to the observer organization. An observer’s certificate shall at the same time serve as a badge to be worn by the observer.
Also, according to the paragraph 71 of article 40 of organic law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia”, if a person authorized to be the head/representative of a registered local observer organization is registered as an electoral subject and/or a representative of an electoral subject, the local observer organization shall, not later than 5 calendar days after the registration, submit to a respective election commission a document to prove that the powers of the person authorized to be the head/representative of the local observer organization, who has been registered as the electoral subject/representative of the subject, has been or will be terminated. Failure to submit such a document shall be the grounds for cancelling the registration of the organization.
Local observer of a local observer organization may be any citizen of Georgia above the age of 18, except for:
- An official holding state-political positions according to law of Georgia on “public service”;
- Member of the local self-government representative body - Sakrebulo;
- Head and deputy head of the local self-government executive body;
- An employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Corrections of Georgia, Georgian Intelligence Service and Special State Protection Service of Georgia;
- An official of the Prosecutor's Office;
- Election subject and its proxy;
- Election commission member.
Rights of local observers:
- An observer shall have the right to observe the election process on E-day, as well as periods before and after polling day in a free and unhindered manner;
- Attend and observe meetings of the election commission;
- Be present at the polling place at any time during polling day, unrestrictedly move within the precinct territory and observe all stages of the polling process from any point of the precinct in a free and unhindered manner;
- Replace another registered representative of the nominating organization at any time on the polling day (in case of availability of such a representative);
- Take part in the inspection of ballot boxes, before they are sealed and after they are opened;
- Observe registration of voters in the lists of voters, issuance of ballot papers and special envelopes and their certification without disrupting the polling process;
- Observe the process of registering complaints on Election Day;
- Attend the procedures of counting of votes and summarizing of results;
- Observe the process of mobile voting;
- Observe the counting of votes in such conditions in which ballot papers are visible;
- Observe the process of compiling the summary protocol of election results and other documents by the election commission;
- Address the PEC Chairperson with an application (complaint) regarding issues related to the procedures of voting and polling, by which an applicant requests the response to identified cases of specific violations;
- Request a voter to show how many ballot papers and special envelopes she/he is having at hand;
- Appeal an action of an election commission according to the procedures defined by the Georgian legislation;
- Observe the ballot box, the process of inserting special envelopes into the ballot box, an opening of the ballot box, counting of ballot papers and drawing up of protocols;
- Get introduced with the summary protocols of polling results, drawn up by election commissions. Request and receive the copies of the summary protocols from the relevant election commission.
An observer shall not be entitled to:
- Interfere with the functions and activities of the election commission;
- Exert an undue influence upon the free expression of the will of voters;
- Agitate in favor or against an electoral subject;
- Wear symbols or signs of any election subject;
- Be without a badge at the polling place on the polling day;
- Breach other requirements of the organic law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia”.
Election commission shall provide all conditions for an observer to implement his/her authority regarding all procedures within the election commission, including the process of counting of ballots and summarizing of the results.
In the case of hindering operations of the commission and violation of the order, Election Commission shall be authorized to make a decision on removing the observer from the polling place in which the Commission is located.