On mutual consent over defining organizational-technical mechanisms of the control over the legitimacy of electoral process in the new Electoral Code
Regarding the Draft Electoral Code,
the political forces participating in the 4+4+4 negotiating format:
- highlighting free and fair elections and public trust enhancement towards the electoral system in Armenia,
- realizing that public trust enhancement towards the electoral system is conditioned by the establishment of wide public consensus on the new Electoral Code, announce that they have reached an agreement to amend the Electoral Code, including in it the following provisions, and take steps for their implementation:
1. The preliminary electronic voter registration system with fingerprint authentication is installed with the following principles:
a) voters shall be provided with a new sample of ID card for free by the police. The voters with ID cards received before are not supposed to be provided with a new sample (though they have the right to receive it by paying for them).
b) to provide the person’s identification in the personal data bases for receiving a new sample of ID card, the citizens give the fingerprints of all the ten fingers in the police stations, as well as other data defined by the RA law on Identification Cards,
c) electronic storage of the voters’ biometric data shall be formed, the registrations of which shall be checked by computer programs, according to the internationally accepted standards applied to identification cards,
d) the right to vote may only get:
a. citizens having given the fingerprints by the due order for receiving a new sample of ID card (through technical equipment) stipulated by paragraph 1 of this Statement;
b. citizens having received ID cards before (through technical equipment);
c. voters registered in the military unit;
d. voters in the penitentiaries;
e. mobile ballot box voters in the medical institutions.
f. voters included in the additional voter list made on Election day based on court decision or reference by a relevant body for those voters who returned to Armenia after the due day for receiving a new sample of ID cards. In that case the voter is obliged to submit his/her passport containing notes on entering the Republic to the Precinct Electoral Commission upon request of the Commission member or candidates’ proxy.
g. voters having given fingerprints for receiving a new sample of ID card, but in certain cases not included in the additional voter list made based on court decision or reference by a relevant body.
e) provision of free ID cards ends 20 days prior to Election day. In case of considering it necessary the Government may extend this period up to 10 days. The Voter list of those having the right to take part in the elections stipulated by this agreement (the citizens with ID cards at the moment of Electoral Code Amendments’ entering into force) shall be issued within a month after the Electoral Code Amendments enter into force, afterwards according to data on registered citizens to receive the new sample of ID cards in the term and order established by Article 9 of the Electoral Code.
f) on Election day the voters’ registration in the polling stations shall be done by technical equipment, by fingerprints (except for paragraph d and c:g). In exceptional cases, if fingerprint registration is not possible (because of physiological peculiarities the fingerprints have low informativity) ID card or passport photo-based identification shall be applied.
g) the centralized electronic storage shall be regularly audited by the experts of the donor organizations upon the order of the Commission under paragraph 2 of this Agreement. The electronic storage of the citizens having received ID cards before shall also be audited.
2. A joint official Commission with the equal participation of authorities, civil society representatives, opposition factions of the parliament shall be set up by the decision of the RA Government for monitoring the registration process aimed at providing voters with a new sample of ID cards, for organizing the works on citizens’ awareness, videotaping and live broadcasting in the polling stations. The Commission’s authorities and the code of conduct are established by the decision of the RA Government within 20 days after the Amendments to the Electoral Code and to the RA law on Identity Cards enter into force.
3. Signed voter lists are available for full inspection
For that purpose:
a/ immediately after the voting, candidates’ proxies present in the polling room may receive a reference on voters’ participation according to the serial number of voter lists printed by Electronic Voting Machines from the Head of the Electoral Commission. The reference shall contain a special note on the voters having passed ID card or passport photo-based identification. The observers and mass media representatives present in the polling room may photograph or videotape the reference. By the end of the session on summing up the polling results, candidates’ proxies, observers and mass media representatives get the right to match the data of reference printed by Electronic Voting Machines with the existing data of participating voters on the main voter list.
b/ Parties participating in the elections have the right, based on an appropriate application, to officially receive from the Territorial Electoral Commission the reference on voters’ participation, according to the serial number of voter lists printed by Electronic Voting Machines of all the precincts under that Commission's service. The reference shall contain a special note on the voters having passed ID card or passport photo-based identification. The mentioned applications shall be submitted within the period set for recount. The references by the Territorial Electoral Commission shall be provided within 40 hours after voting.
The whole process of voting and summing up of the voting results shall be videotaped by the web-based cameras, and live broadcast of the process shall be available on specially created website/s/. The cameras shall catch the polling box, the process of voters’ registration and presenting them ballot papers and envelopes, as well as summing up the voting results, the polling station and its entrance within 50 metres. To provide the videotaping, a specialized company shall be selected through competition which shall take the responsibility for proper organization of the process in all the polling stations throughout the Republic. The Commission under paragraph 2 shall be in charge of the purchasing and assessing procedure. The videotaped materials in any polling station shall be provided upon request of the participating parties and organizations with observers present in the elections at the cost price of copying.
The videotaped materials shall be archived and preserved in the order of procedure for election documents.
4. The sides express their willingness to consider and find solutions for providing information via the Internet on the precinct results prior to summary of preliminary election results.
5. With this statement the sides apply to the donor organizations to provide financial means for organizing this whole package of proposed works and installation of mechanisms.
6. The mechanisms to be applied by mutual consent are viewed as a whole /package/ and the rejection or failure to apply one of them in the presence of necessary financial means will result in declination of consent on the whole package.
7. The mutual consent enters into force in case of providing the confirmation on financing the whole package (including the works on data collection for providing new ID cards, software and technical provision of electronic data storage and production of ID cards) by the donor organizations. At the same time the sides realize that phased financing may be applied depending on the schedule of funding and available resources.
8. The Government will initiate an extraordinary session of the National Assembly to make appropriate amendments to the Electoral Code. The installed mechanisms as a result of the amendments will be conditioned by the financing.
9. This agreement doesn’t mean consensus on the whole Electoral Code, especially regarding regional and ranked ballots of proportional representation. The agreement parties shall endeavor to reach an agreement also on other provisions during further discussions on the Electoral Code.