Georgia: 1000s of coronavirus patients, people in self-isolation will be unable to vote
Thousands of voters will not be able to vote in the parliamentary elections to be held in Georgia on Saturday 31 October.
These are patients infected with coronavirus, as well as people in quarantine and self-isolation.
For such voters, the Central Election Commission of Georgia has introduced a special system of portable ballot boxes, however, to use the box, coronavirus patients must be registered with the Ministry of Health.
“However, voters face a number of bureaucratic obstacles, which testifies to the shortcomings of the process”, said Transparency International Georgia in a special statement.
Parliamentary elections in Georgia are scheduled for October 31. 48 parties and two electoral blocs are participating in the elections.
Since Georgia is a parliamentary country, whoever wins the elections will rule the country for the next four years.
The ruling Georgian Dream party is trying to stay in power for a third term. So far, no political force in Georgia has remained in power for three terms.
First of all, the problem lies in the timing of the registration of people in self-isolation – registration is available until October 27, 18:00. [Initially, the deadline was set at 14:00, but thanks to the activity of the leader of the opposition European Georgia party, Elene Khoshtaria, the CEC extended the deadline for several hours].
This means that those who have not registered yet, or who show symptoms of coronavirus in the next three days and who will be forced to self-isolate due to contact with a carrier of the virus, will not be able to vote.
Applicants for registration also faced other obstacles – the CEC hotline was constantly overloaded, and citizens in self-isolation did not know that they could not register on the CEC website until the Ministry of Health added them to a special list.