Sunday, 23 September

Yerevan Law Professor: Publishing Lists of Voters Has Pros and Cons

Professor Vahram Avetisyan, who heads the Chair of Civil Law at Yerevan State University, in an interview with Hetq about the proposed new electoral code in Armenia noted that the question of publishing the lists of those who have voted in elections in Armenia is very relevant given that so many thousands of citizens have left the country, thus increasing the threat of multiple voting and other infractions.

“The proposal that lists of those who have voted be published is quite controversial, since it contains both positive and negative elements,” Avetisyan told Hetq.

Avetisyan stressed that the views of reputable international organizations differ regarding whether or not such lists should be published.

“For example, the Venice Commission believes that such lists shouldn’t be made public while   OSCE democratic institutions and the Human Rights Defender believe that publishing such lists would not violate any international norm,” Avetisyan said.

Avetisyan noted that while publishing such voter lists could play a preventative role regarding multiple voting and raise the level of revealing such cases, on the other hand, it could negatively impact the level of public confidence regarding election results.

“After the tabulation of election results until the next election, individuals might come to the fore claiming that they didn’t cast a ballot, a neighbor can claim that his or her neighbor didn’t participate, and, as a result, you’ll have a series of processes that will negatively impact the highest level of elections. For this reason, if the proposal is accepted we must plan for supplemental regulations that will minimize such occurrences,” Avetisyan said. 

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