The National Election Committee (NEC) on January 6 issued a letter addressing concerns related to the vote-counting process, stressing that all procedures would be carried out neutrally and impartially.
The statement comes after some political parties expressed concern over potential irregularities and unfair practices in the upcoming commune elections on June 5, as the NEC moves to amend a number of regulations and procedures.
Key issues raised are the improper packing of ballots and failure to distribute records of the count to political party agents present at each polling station.
One such clause believed to be considered for amendment is Article 184.108.40.206 from the rules and procedures for the commune council elections, which states that a record of the ballot count has to be distributed to participating political party agents at each voting station.
NEC spokesman Som Sorida had told The Post on January 3 that all political parties’ agents who observe the elections and vote-counting process would receive the results in the committee’s Form 1102.
He elaborated that based on the parliamentary election law, Form 1102 requires polling stations to make three copies of their election results, the first of which must be included in package “A” and then submitted to the NEC. The second copy “B” must be posted at the stations where the ballots are being counted and the third copy “C” will be sent to the commune election commissions.
In its January 6 letter, the NEC noted that stipulations for the three copies are addressed in articles 131-132 of the Law on the Election of Commune Councils.
Each copy includes ballot slips, election stamps and complaint letters, as well as unused and invalid voting papers, and other materials used in the election work, is said, adding that package “A” is to be put into a security box.
It said copies “B” and “C” are posted at their respective locations until the day the official election results are announced.
In a bid to assuage concerns, the NEC encouraged political parties to snap photos of the preliminary vote counts.
It added that Form 1102 would be scanned and uploaded to its website for the public to verify the election results at each commune, as well as sent to the political party agents who were present at each voting station.
The NEC emphasised that the delivery and handling of the package “A” security boxes would be no different from the previous commune elections in 2017.