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Ana Dabrundashvili

Georgia: “Voting Tutorial” or “Electoral Fraud”?

An electoral fraud has always been an issue in Georgia. There is quite a big number of well-known methods, for instance, traditional “Karuselis,”(from Russian карусель) which means people voting more than once. There might also be “dead souls” – people who have already died but are still included in the list of voters with a purpose to use their voices.

But these good old methods of the 1990s are pretty much outdated. For the current elections, the main problem (also pointed out by major civil society organizations) is that some people are forced or feel forced to vote for the particular party, foremost the UNM. One version is that the government pressure public servants, including their families, to vote for the ruling party. The same encouragement goes for relatives of prisoners and army servants.

Thus, some people might be asked to take a photo of their ballot paper as a proof that they have indeed chosen number 5. Others may be given ballot papers which already have number 5 circled on it.
The Georgian Dream, apparently having thought much about the issue, teaches us how to defend our democratic choice, which must be of course number 41. In a video released by the party, a young man explains to an old lady how to cheat the system and turn the ballot paper with five as a choice into a ballot paper with 41…

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Ana is from Tbilisi, Georgia, where she currently works for the Caucasus Research Resource Centers. She has an MA in International Relations and BA in Journalism. Pursues writing in free time and is interested in literature.

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