Number of logical inconsistencies in 2016 election protocols decline
Following the 2016 parliamentary elections, a number of politicians questioned the results based on logical inconsistencies on election protocols. Some of the election protocols, which summarize election results for individual voting stations, reported that more voters had come to the polls than actually cast ballots while others reported that more votes had been cast than voters came to the polling station. While both did happen, the Central Election Commission has made dramatic improvements compared to Georgia’s 2012 parliamentary elections.
In the 2012 parliamentary elections, according to an analysis of data the Central Election Commission provided, in the proportional list elections alone there were over 30,000 more voters that came to the polls than cast ballots. In 2016, there were less than 3000 such voters – a clear improvement.
Not only were there more voters than votes in many precincts – there were more votes cast than voters that came to the polls, again according to the official record. In the 2012 parliamentary elections, there were 696 more votes than signatures for those votes. By comparison, in 2016 there were 76 – again a clear improvement.
A third logical inconsistency present in the data is declining turnout. In the 2012 elections, in 8 precincts, there were more votes at 12PM than at 5PM. That is to say that the precincts recorded declining turnout. In 2016, by contrast, only one precinct reported declining turnout, again, a clear improvement.
While the CEC has clearly improved its recording of the vote in 2016, and small mismatches are bound to happen, any voter may reasonably ask themselves – if the CEC cannot make election protocols add up, how do I know my vote counted? Thus, we strongly recommend that the CEC make efforts to minimize the number of logical inconsistencies in future elections. Some recommendations on how the CEC might do so are available in our report on the 2016 elections.
Note: The DEFDA project is funded by the Embassy of the United States of America in Georgia, however, none of the views expressed in the above blog post represent the views of the US Embassy in Georgia or any related US Government entity.
The blog analyzes if the special precinct really mattered for the Sagarejo by-elections or wether it was the ethnic voting patterns, which explain the differences.
Three months before the 2016 Parliamentary elections: Trust in the Central Election Commission and election observers in GeorgiaThe June 2016 CRRC/NDI Public attitudes in Georgia survey, conducted three months before the Parliamentary elections, provides interesting information about trust in the Central Election Commission (CEC) and election observers, both local and international.
The 2018 presidential elections, and particularly, the events surrounding the second round, have come to be considered a setback for Georgia’s democratic trajectory. Between the first and second round, it was announced that 600,000 voters would have debt relief immediately following the elections, leading some to suggest this was a form of vote buying. A number of instances of electoral fraud were also alleged. The use of party coordinators around election precincts was also widely condemned.
The long-fought-over electoral reform was a compromise which represents two steps forward after three steps had been taken back.
In times of crisis, support for governments often rises in what is known as a rallying around the flag effect. The COVID-19 crisis in Georgia has been no exception.
Data from around the world has shown rallying around the flag effects in many countries during the pandemic, with a few exceptions. Georgia has followed this broader pattern, with performance ratings tripling for many actors and institutions between November/December 2019 and May 2020.
Talk about political polarisation in Georgia is easy to find. Some have suggested that the recent United National Movement (UNM) announcement that Saakashvili will be their prime ministerial candidate will only make matters worse.
A new data analysis CRRC Georgia released on Tuesday suggests that this may in fact be the case. Data from several years of CRRC Georgia and NDI polling indicates that there are few ideological or policy issues that the supporters of Georgian Dream (GD) and the United National Movement (UNM) disagree about. Rather, attitudes towards politicians and political events are what divides, a fact the public intuitively recognises.
While personality in politics matters greatly for the Georgian public, data from this year shows that for Georgian Dream and United National Movement voters, policy is still important.
A recent CRRC Georgia policy brief argued that what was really dividing Georgians politically was personalities rather than policies. Data from the August 2020 CRRC and NDI survey provides further evidence for this idea.
However, the data also shows a difference between Georgian Dream (GD) and United National Movement (UNM) voters in terms of policy preferences and that economic policy is the most important issue for a plurality of voters.
Political campaigning takes a wide range of forms, from digital advertising to door knocking. Generally, campaigning is believed to both mobilise voters to actually go out to vote as well as win over voters, but which is most relevant in Georgia?
Data from the August CRRC Georgia and NDI public opinion poll indicate that people who wanted to be contacted by campaigners also appeared more partisan than others. This may suggest that campaigning in Georgia will be more effective at turning out partisans than persuading the undecided.