Instructions for observers and deliberative vote members of precinct election commissions on activities during the election of President of the Russian Federation
1. To supervise that voting and ballot counting are conducted in accordance with the federal law on Election of President of The Russian Federation.
2. To disclose violations of the Law and file appeals and complaints if need be.
3. To file and certify a copy of the precinct commission voting results protocol and a list of person present at the ballot count.
1. Abide by the Instructions!
2. Having fulfilled one task, mark it in any suitable manner.
3. Be polite but demanding to members of the precinct election commission (PEC).
4. Having noticed any violations of the Law:
consult with the PEC chairman,
file a complaint and a statement in two copies, one to be given to the PEC chairman, the other together with a copy of PEC protocol should be submitted to the coordinator in charge of protocol collecting.
5. In case of any difficulties consult with your coordinator.
Your coordinator (name)___________________________
Phone ____________ Headquarters phone ___________
The Federal Law on the Election of President of the Russian Federation and RF Central Election Commission Clarification #79/643 dated February 26, 1996 provide for the following scope of authority of observers and precinct election commission deliberative vote members:
Observer has a right:
1. to be present at the polling station on the election day,
2. to witness demonstration of ballot boxes prior to their sealing and opening by the PEC chairman after the vote is completed,
3. to be present at voting by voters who cannot come to the polling station because of health reasons and due to other important circumstances,
4. familiarize themselves with voter lists,
5. to be present while all PEC deciding vote members count and declare invalid all unused ballots,
6. to address any comments related to the organization of the voting procedure to the PEC chairman,
7. to familiarize himself with voting results protocols and receive certified copies of those,
8. to appeal any actions (omissions) of the PEC to the territorial election commission.
Observer has no right:
1. to sign the registration list in confirmation of ballot receipt at the request of a voter,
2. to fill in the ballot in the voting booth at the request of the voter.
3. to perform any actions that may hinder the work of PEC members.
PEC member with deliberative vote has a right:
1. to be present at the precinct polling station on the election day, at the ballot count and processing of the precinct voting results protocol.
2. to be present at voting by voters who cannot come to the polling station due to health or other reasons,
3. to familiarize himself and receive certified copies of all PEC documents and materials,
PEC member with deliberative vote has no right:
1. to vote for or against any PEC decisions,
2. to participate in the ballot count,
3. to engage in pre-election campaigning and distribution of campaign materials.
Opening Of The Polling Station
1. To arrive at the polling station at 7.45 am.
2. To present observer's certificate or deliberative vote member's appointment certificate and passport or military ID to the PEC chairman. Deliberative vote members must receive a statutory member with deliberative vote ID. To call your coordinator and inform him about your arrival at the polling station.
3. To collect information and fill in the following in Form #4:
- Surnames, first and patronymic names of PEC's chairman, deputy chairman and secretary.
- Number of ballots received at the polling station by 8.00 am. (Line 1)
- Number of voters registered by 8.00 am. (line 2)
Note: The PEC chairman opens the polling station at 8.00 am and announces the beginning of the voting. (Article 56, part. 6)
4. To inspect stationary and portable ballot boxes to check presence and integrity of seals,
5. To make sure that both stationary and portable ballot boxes are in clear view of observers and all PEC members.
IMPORTANT! Observation of ballot boxes in order to preclude violations of the Law at the moment when ballots are inserted into boxes is one of main tasks of voting monitoring.
Voting at a polling station
6. To make sure that each ballot is signed by two PEC members with deciding votes and certified with the PEC seal,
7. To observe that ballots are given to each voter personally upon presentation of his/her passport or military ID.
Note: If a voter believes that he/she has made a mistake in filling out the ballot, he/she can request and receive from a PEC member with deciding vote a new ballot in return of the damaged one. (Article 51, part 15)
8. To make sure that:
· damaged ballots are rendered invalid,
· an appropriate mark is left to the right of the voter's name to certify the issuance of a new certificate to the voter.
9. To make sure that there is a sufficient number of pens (not pencils) in voting booths or rooms for secret voting and no campaign materials.
10. To supervise that every voter votes personally.
Note: A voter who cannot fill in the ballot him/herself can invite another person (except for a PEC member, an observer or a representative or an attorney of a candidate) into the voting booth to assist him/her. The name of that person is to indicate next to the voter's signature. (Article 51, part. 8)
Voting Outside Of The Polling Station.
11. To notify the PEC chairman of your intention to be present at voting outside of the polling station.
Note: Voters who cannot come to the polling station due to health or other important problems have a right to vote outside of the polling station on the basis of a written or oral application. Voting outside of the polling station can be managed only by a member with deciding vote. An observer or a deliberative vote member has a right to be present at such voting. (Article 51, part 12.)
To make sure:
· that there are no possibilities for violation of the vote secrecy or influence on the voter's will;
· that the application for voting outside of the polling station and certificate of ballot receipt by the voter are properly completed (all voter's credentials in the application and the voter registration list must be identical).
· that the portable box is safe.
Activities Prior To Termination Of Voting
12. To inform the PEC chairman of your intention to be present at the ballot count and submit a request for a copy of precinct voting results protocol and a copy of a list of persons, present at the ballot count (Form #1).
Activities Immediately After Termination Of Voting
13. To make sure:
- that a certification is added to the voter registration list as to the number of voters on the list signed by the PEC chairman and secretary and stamped with the PEC seal.
- that seals on ballot boxes are intact.
14. To make sure that unused ballots are rendered invalid by cutting off of a lower left comer or punching or otherwise defacing a determined part of the ballot.
IMPORTANT! Defacing of ballots by cutting off the corner containing PEC members' signatures and the commission seal is prohibited.
15. To collect information and fill in the following in Form #4:
· number of voters in the voter registration lists by 22.00 pm. (Line 3).
· number of voters how voted outside of the polling station (based on the number of applications) (Line 4).
· number of ballots given to voters by 22.00 pm (based on the number of ballot issuance marks in the voter registration list) (Line 5).
· number of ballots rendered invalid (unused and damaged) (Line 6).
IMPORTANT! It is not permitted to leave the polling station until all ballots are counted and PEC protocols are completed.
16. To make sure that ballot boxes are opened consecutively, first portable and then stationary.
17. To make sure that the number of ballots from portable boxes does not exceed the number of applications for voting outside of the polling station.
IMPORTANT! If the number of ballots in the portable ballot box exceeds the number of applications for voting outside of the polling station, all such ballots must be declared invalid by an appropriate PEC decision.
Make sure that such facts are reflected in a PEC statement that would incorporate names of PEC members who managed the voting outside of the polling station.
18. To make sure:
· that ballots are counted only by PEC members with deciding vote.
· that irregular and invalid ballots are separated on the initial stage of the ballot count.
Note: Irregular ballots are those that were produced unofficially or were not signed by two PEC members with deciding vote and certified with the PEC seal. Invalid ballots are those that contain any marks in more that one entry or contain no marks at all, or an entry for a candidate how had withdrawn his candidacy was marked. (Article 52, part 6)
19. To make sure:
· that in case of any doubt as to validity of a ballot all disputes were resolved by the precinct commission vote.
· that a notation on the back side of the ballot as to its invalidity was certified by three PEC members with deciding vote.
· that invalid ballots were counted and results of the count were announced prior to valid ballots counting.
To enter the total number of invalid ballots into Form #4 (line 7).
Voting Results Protocol
IMPORTANT! It is prohibited to execute the voting results protocol with a pencil and introduce any amendments to the protocol.
20. To make sure that the protocol is signed by all PEC members with deciding vote. In case of absence of any such member the reason for his/her absence must be given in the «signature» entry.
21. To be present at sealing of valid and invalid, as well as irregular ballots. To make sure that they are sealed separately.
22. To make sure that all persons present at the ballot count are included into an appropriate list.
Receipt Of The Protocol's Copy
23. To submit a request for a copy of the PEC protocol or for an opportunity to make such a copy to the PEC chairman and to familiarize oneself with the list of persons who were present at the ballot count.
24. To make a copy of the list.
IMPORTANT! While making a copy, you may not use a pencil or alter the list in any way.
25. To ask the PEC chairman, deputy chairman or secretary to certify a copy of the protocol by signing and stamping with the PEC seal.
26. To submit the certified copy of the voting results protocol and of the list of persons present at the ballot count to a member of the headquarters in charge of protocol collecting.
Possible Violations Of The Law
Display stand for information materials Lack of information materials about a particular candidate. Presence of campaign materials and appeals on the display stand. Direct or indirect propaganda at the stand.
Purchase of ballots:
· a voter leaves the polling station with a blank ballot,
· purchase of blank ballots is organized,
· «the voter» returns to the polling station to insert the ballots into the ballot box.
Voting for absent voters:
· «the voter» receives a number of ballots with forged passport data and voter signatures for voters that are expected not to attend the voting (handicapped, residents of dormitories, persons currently absent etc)
· «the voter» marks the ballots and inserts them into the ballot box.
Falsified voting at home:
· applications for voting outside of the polling station are falsified,
· ballots with «necessary» marks are inserted into the ballot box.
Opposition of PEC to observers and PEC members with deliberative vote:
· PEC does not allow them to be present at ballot count and protocol completion.
· PEC maintains a distance between them and persons counting ballots, so that they cannot supervise the count.
How To Fight With Violations Of The Law
1. Abide by the Instructions.
2. Constantly monitor:
ballot stationary and portable boxes,
«voters» attempting to vote for the second time,
persons attempting to vote without registration.
4. In case of any violations of the Law or if there is reasonable suspicion:
consult with the PEC chairman,
file a complaint in two copies. The first one to be given to the PEC chairman, the
second - to the coordinator together with a copy of the PEC protocol (Form #2),
execute a statement together with two other persons (preferably PEC members) in two copies. The first one is to be given to the PEC, the second one- to be submitted to the coordinator together with the PEC protocol's copy.
contact your coordinator.
REMEMBER! THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE. VIOLATION OF THE LAW MAY RESULT IN CRIMINAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES.
To the precinct election commission #________
from observer (member of the precinct election
commission with deliberative vote)
residing at _____________________
Please supply me with a certified copy of the triplicate version of the voting results protocol and a certified copy of the list of persons present at the ballot count upon completion of the ballot count on the basis of Article 14, part 6 (Article 19, part 3).
«________» _______________ 1996
To the precinct election commission #_____
from observer (member of the precinct election
commission with deliberative vote)
residing at ____________________________
(Description of the violation: indicate time, state whether PEC members are responsible (include names).
«_______» _________________ 1996
(list surnames, first and patronymic names, positions of officials)
executed the Statement that the following has taken place at the polling station #___
(description of the violation(s): indicate time and names of those who committed them)
«_______» _____________ 1996 __________________ o'clock