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Belarus’ CEC goes extra mile to keep ballot papers safe

12-02-2010 02:15 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: BelTA

MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) – The Central Election Commission of Belarus has taken additional measures to keep ballot papers safe. The measures are laid down by an addendum to early voting guidelines. The addendum was approved at the session of the Central Election Commission of Belarus on 30 November.

CEC member Nadezhda Kiseleva reminded that measures had been taken to enable open and transparent early voting in line with this year’s amendments to election laws. In particular, at the end of the day ballot boxes will be sealed in presence of at least two thirds of the precinct commission. The slot in ballot boxes will be sealed. The number of issued ballot papers and the number of people, who have voted, will be publicized by precinct commissions every day. At the session on 30 November the Central Election Commission decided that slots in ballot boxes should be sealed not only at the end of the day but for the duration of lunch hours between 14:00 and 16:00. Ballot boxes will be unsealed at 10:00 and 16:00 before voting starts. During off hours voter lists and ballot papers will be stored in sealed strongboxes.

CEC members with consultative capacity suggested that observers should be allowed to stay at polling stations 24/7 in order to make sure that ballot papers and ballot boxes have not been tampered with. The Central Election Commission declined the suggestion. Chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Lidia Yermoshina said that if the proposal had been okayed, observers would have had to be granted the authority to control law enforcement officers that now guard polling stations when they are closed. Undoubtedly, the Central Election Commission has no authority to change rights of observers. Lidia Yermoshina is convinced that sufficient measures have been taken to ensure the safety of election documents. Any attempts by presidential candidates to castigate early voting as a way to tamper with election results serve nothing but the purpose of making voters and international observers believe that the situation in the country is allegedly bad.

Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) is Belarus' biggest news agency providing the latest news about politics, economy, sports, culture and everyday life in Belarus. BelTA's reporters operate in Belarus, Moscow, Kyiv, Chisinau, Warsaw, Vilnius, Caracas.
Among other things BelTA products include the weekly 7 Dnei (7 Days), which circulation approaches 40,000 copies, and Economy of Belarus Magazine, a quarterly in Russian and English, with the audience of 6,500 readers. Moreover, BelTA publishes books, brochures, posters, booklets and other promotional materials. BelTA promotes, designs and provides technological and informational support for webpages of government agencies, Belarusian enterprises and organizations.

Aleksei Fomich, Deputy Editor of the Translations Department (English), Central Release Office, Belarusian Telegraph Agency BelTA
26 Kirova Street, Minsk, 220030, Belarus
af@belta.by
+375172274766
www.belta.by

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