Door-to door campaign reveals massive inconsistencies in voter-list
By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, July 11
85% of the Georgian Dream’s door-to-door campaign is over. Yet while hesitating to talk directly about the exact results, lawyer Zakaria Kutsnashvili said on July 10 that the basic voter list had many types of inconsistencies, including people who are deceased, as well as duplicate names or missing voters. He said that in their quest of visiting each and every family, the registrars have faced obstacles from the local governors who have repeatedly attempted to hinder their work on the voter lists.
The Georgian Dream’s campaign to check the voters’ list for the upcoming parliamentary elections began two-weeks ago. Field activities have been completed in Racha-Lechkhumi, Guria, Samegrelo and the 11 precincts of Imereti aside from Kutaisi, while the team will begin processing the information after they finish the field activities in Tbilisi, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Adjara.
Addressing the several instances of threats, beatings and detentions of Georgian Dream supporters, Kutsnashvili said the government is clamping down on Ivanishvili’s political team. He said the situation is especially hard in the compact settlements that house Georgia’s IDPs.
Explaining that refusing to participate in the survey is a constitutional right of each citizen, Kutsnashvili said they do not force anyone to answer the registrars. He wondered nevertheless why potential voters act so aggressively with the observers if they want to ensure a fair election environment for the country.
Georgian Dream field workers have been using the same initial voter list as the State Commission for Ensuring Voters’ List Accuracy chaired by New Rights’ Mamuka Katsitadze. Kutsnashvili said that if Katsitadze’s commission has revealed over 1 million inconsistencies out of over 3, 500, 000 voters, it emphasizes how “filthy” the voters’ lists really are. “It is a catastrophic situation, thus we are becoming more confident in the necessity of our door-to-door [campaign] policy,” he said, promising to provide updated information about the campaign on a weekly basis.
Mamuka Katsitadze’s commission finished the field activities list last Friday. Although the commission will publish the final results by August 1, Katsitadze announced the preliminary results of the survey which he doubted to be much different from the final results.
Out of 3, 464, 683 Georgian citizens, 99.2% have been checked; the rest mainly had problems with addressing.
From that 99.2%, 40, 000 people had incorrect identification, 16 000 were listed as deceased, 300, 000 live abroad, 3-4% were unreachable and 2% refused to cooperate. Katsitadze said the state commission is ready to check the information provided by the alternative door-to-door campaigns and reflect the differences in the final list. He said the parties within the state commission have equal responsibility for the accuracy of the voters list because otherwise it will negatively affect all of them.
Those who are not sure if they are in the voters list can check their status by sending a text message with their personal identification number and their year of birth in order to receive information about the place of registration.