Statement of the State Election Commissioner, Mr. Ilirjan Celibashi for the Media.
In this last meeting ahead of election day, I would like to give an update on the election process. I want to start with the distribution of the election materials – the distribution of the election materials from the CEC to all CEAZs has already finished and today, early in the morning, we started the distribution of election materials to each voting center.
According to our reports on site, the process went smoothly and no irregularities were identified in the distribution of election materials, including the distribution of electronic voter identification device.
The CEC has distributed 5199 PEI devices to all CEAZs. The device, along with the election materials and documentation will be distributed today to all the voting centers.
I would like to reiterate again for the voters the information on the way the ballot paper is marked, as I believe that in this day of electoral silence it is worthwhile to convey technical, guiding information to the benefit of the citizens.
As we have mentioned, in very voting center, it will be voted with a single ballot paper, which lists the names of political parties and election coalitions, along with numbers that correspond to the candidates of each party and each coalition. There are also independent candidates running in some constituencies. In order for every citizen’s vote to be valid, you must vote in one of three ways communicated by the CEC.
First Way 1: The citizen votes only for the electoral subject (party / coalition) and for none of the candidates of that electoral subject. Therefore, he/she marks only X or + in the box next to the party or coalition. In this case, the vote goes to the list of candidates as a whole according to the order of candidates submitted by the electoral subject;
Second Way: The citizen can vote for the electoral subject and also for one of the candidates of that subject. Thus, he can mark X or + in the box next to the political party or coalition he prefers and can mark X or + only in one of the boxes next to the number of his favorite candidate of that party or coalition he has chosen. In this case the vote goes to the electoral subject and the candidate of that subject;
Third Way 3: The citizen can vote only for one candidate (by marking X or + only in the box corresponding to the number of the preferred candidate), without voting for the electoral subject to which that candidate belongs. In this case, the vote goes to the candidate and it also goes to the subject to which the candidate belongs.
Any other way of voting has a high probability to be considered invalid, therefore it is advisable by the CEC to vote in one of the ways announced by the CEC. The voter will find a comprehensive information at the entrance of the voting center about the candidates and the respective numbers of each candidate. In this way, those who have dilemmas about remembering the numbers they will need to mark on the ballot paper, can get this information at the entrance of each voting center. This information can also be obtained inside the voting center, as large posters will be placed near the secret booth where the names of the candidates and the respective numbers for each of them are listed.
Meanwhile, every voter can check this information as well as any other type of information on the CEC website, social networks and the CEC application. Referring to the latter, this application has also become a communication platform between the CEC and the commissioners of the CEAZs, VCCs and the operators. Regarding the pilot project of electronic voting and counting, I reconfirm with absolute certainty that the voting process which will take place in CEAZ no. 40, is 100% safe, the secrecy of the ballot is 100% guaranteed and the integrity of the electoral process is 100% guaranteed. There is no way of finding out who voted for whom. The device and system are designed in such a way that it does not record the voting order and voting time of the voter. Therefore, I would like to inform all the voters of unit no. 10, that this process is secure and they can go to the polls without any hesitation, as the integrity and secrecy of their vote is ensured.
Regarding electronic identification devices, they have been distributed to all the CEAZs. In 5199 voting centers it is the operators who will operate the device. So far we have only 100 VCs which are not yet covered by operators, but the CEC is working to cover with operators that will operate PEI, even in these remote areas.
I would like to take this opportunity to state and confirm what the Electoral Code has provided, that, despite any circumstances, the voting process will begin at 07:00 and there is no reason to hesitate or wait for the opening of the voting process. Any behaviour that runs counter to this provision of the Electoral Code will be followed by strict legal sanctions.
I am fully confident that we will not be faced with issues of such nature on election day.
I encourage all citizens to participate massively in the voting process, especially first-time voters. The CEC has taken all measures to ensure that this election process is secure and that the secrecy of the ballot is guaranteed to everyone and everywhere.