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 observers comply with the requirements defined by the paragraph 4 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. (Ordinance №297/2016 dated on 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 of the person, 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.
- One organization has the right to have no more than 1 observer at the same time at election precinct .
- 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;
- An observer from the other observer organization;
- Representative of the press and other mass media.
Rights of local observers:
- Observe freely the electoral process during the polling day, pre-election and post-election period;
- Attend and observe sessions of election commissions;
- Be present at the polling place at any time during polling day, move without restrictions within the precinct territory and observe all stages of the polling process from any point in the precinct in a free and unhindered manner;
- Replace another registered representative (if any) of the nominating organisation at any time on the polling day;
- Take part in the inspection of ballot boxes before they are sealed and after they are opened;
- Observe the registration of voters in the lists of voters, the issuance of ballot papers and special envelopes and the certification thereof, without disrupting the polling process;
- Observe the process of registration of complaints on the polling day;
- Attend the procedures of counting votes and summarising results;
- Observe the process of mobile voting;
- Observe the vote counting under such conditions in which ballot papers may be visible;
- Observe the process of compiling summary protocols of election results and other documents by the election commission
- Apply with a statement (complaint) to the chairperson of the Precinct Election Commission on issues related to voting and voting procedures, requesting a response in case of a specific violation;
- Appeal the actions of an election commission as defined in the legislation of Georgia;
- Observe the ballot box, the placing of special envelopes into the ballot box, the opening of ballot boxes, the counting of ballot papers, and the drawing up of protocols;
- Review the summary protocols of polling and election results drawn up by election commissions, request and receive the copies of such protocols from the relevant election commission.
An observer shall not be entitled to:
- Interfere with the duties and activities of an election commission;
- Influence the free expression of the will of voters;
- Agitate in favor of or against an electoral subject;
- Wear symbols and signs of any electoral subject;
- Be without a badge in the polling station on 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.