CIVIL – Center for Freedom is continously monitoring the work of the State Election Commission even after the elections, despite the fact that this institution has in no occasion responded to our numerous messages, demands, reports and calls.
According to the Electoral Code, the SEC’s obligation was to present to the public, within the given deadlines, the Report on the conducted early parliamentary elections for MPs in the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia that were held on December 11, 2016 and the Financial reports on the revenues and expenditures of the political parties in the period November 21 – December 11, 2016. So far, the final finacial reports of only four political parties (coalitions) have been published.
The obligation of the SEC to update the Voters Register is still in progress. Until now, on the website of the State Election Commission, a Monthly summary report on the changes inplemented in the Voters Register has been published for July 2017 only.
As a reminder, on December 9, 2016, following the press-conference in front of the State Election Commission, CIVIL tried to submit to a representative of this institution documented cases of 104 “missing” persons from the Voters Register, who were just part of over 1,000 citizens who called us in our offices with complaints that they had been removed from the Register. To our great and unpleasant surprise there was practically no one in the SEC who could receive the material that CIVIL’s team had prepared, in an attempt to help at least a hundred citizens to realize their right to vote. There was simply no one in the SEC, just 24 hours before election day!
J.D from the Municipality of Center addressed CIVIL several times for advice concerning her status in the Voters Register. After not finding herself on the Voters Register she requested explanation from the State Election Commission. In just one telephone conversation with the Department for voters lists in the SEC, she received at least five different answers.
At first she was told that maybe she does not figure on the list because they were experiencing technical problems, but that on the day of the voting she would surely be on the list. When she insisted on seeing her name on the list before election day, they told her that it was not possible because according to their data, her ID card had expired. However, J. D’s ID card is valid until 2020!
Afterwards she was told that she was on the disputed list and that she should have reported within the deadline foreseen for reporting of persons who figure as phantom voters. When she explained that there are no phantom voters on her address, she was told to turn to the MOI and to report the remaining residents, because there were many of them.
In other words, in the SEC they had advised her to report her own family as a phantom one!
At the end, the conclusion that was made by the SEC was that the Voters Register was closed and that in no case would her name figure on it, that is, that at the elections on December 11, she would not realize her constitutionally guaranteed right to vote, even though until now she had been voting for 20 years at the same address without any problem. When she asked whether she could do anything if she filed a complaint to the SEC, she was told that it is her civic right, but that such a complaint would not affect their decision to remove her from the Voters Register.
We contacted J.D again, encouraging her not to give up from realizing her voting right. Her response was as follows:
“I thank you for your efforts for correcting the ‘damage already made’. I did not realize the right to vote in December, and as to my right for ‘additionally’ reporting, I no longer had a theoretical chance: soon after I moved out of our beloved country.
With wishes for a positive outcome of your, and thus, my struggle, I sincerely greet you and wish you success!”
Additionally, J.D told us that she appeared on the day of the voting anyway and additionally determined that she was not on the Voters Register. Disappointed and revolted, she has no intention of returning to Macedonia.
In anticipation of the February summary report on the changes implemented in the Voters Register, we hope that this time as well the citizens will have insight as to which voters have been removed, and which have been included in the Voters Register. This is especially important, having in consideration the scanty information that is coming from the SEC.
Currently, the Voters Register is not available for citizens to inspect their data in it.