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Georgia’s Election Commission Tests new Voting Technology

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 16
(TBILISI)--The Central Election Commission of Georgia tested electronic machines for vote-counting during the Zugdidi by-elections on May 13.

Electronic voting machine uses a keyboard and a touch-screen to allow online voting. DREs are used in polling stations.

The system captures voter’s choices and stores an electronic record of their vote in the machine. The data captured is then transmitted by either electronic or manual means.

“Electronic vote counting is being implemented for research and evaluation purposes, which aims at studying the possibilities of introducing the election technologies in the electoral process in Georgia,” stated CEC Spokesperson Ana Mikeladze.

The head of the Central Election Commission appealed to the voters to arrive at polling stations to allow the new system’s appropriate testing.

The pilot project is being carried out with the Canadian international organization DELIAN.

By-elections at Tsaishi community, which took place because of the death of Tsaishi majoritarian deputy last year, were held at three election precincts.

2,819 voters were registered for the elections, while 1,337 participated in it, which means the turnover stood at 47 percent.

Three candidates, 77 local observers of 20 local observer organizations and 10 international observers of three international observer organizations were registered for the by-elections.

255 representatives of 15 media outlets covered the elections.

Candidates from the Georgian Dream ruling party, from the European Georgia opposition and the Free Georgia opposition party took part in the elections.

The United National Movement opposition refused to participate in the race, accusing the government of providing an unhealthy election environment.

Based on the preliminary information by CEC, ruling party candidate Tengiz Almasia won the by-elections.