Georgia updates, corrects election list

All the data needed to form the election lists are sent to the Central Electoral Commission., 01 Jun 2014 - 15:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Today the Ministry of Justice sent an updated and corrected election data to the Central Election Commission (CEC), meaning officials will have a list accompanied by photos for the first time in history.

This year, voters in the June 15 elections will be identified on the electoral lists by their photograph as well as through names and personal information.

Georgia’s State Services Development Agency have spent months creating a photo-based election database, which has recently undergone comprehensive testing to eliminate the possibility of voters having their identity duplicated in the upcoming municipal election.

On May 28, the Agency finished testing to eliminate the possibility of photo duplication in the State Registry databases.

Latest amendments to the Electoral Law stated changes would be made ahead of the June 15 election to ensure voters would be identified on the electoral lists by their photograph.

According to the Elections Code of Georgia, the Agency was obliged to provide the CEC with the data necessary to create the election list.

Using a special photo searching system, Agency staff studied more than 4.3 million photos and photo combinations and explored 9,595 potential duplication issues. These were sent to the territorial units of the Agency. From this, 5,537 cases of duplication were not confirmed and 3,271 cases improved. One case was cancelled and the data was removed from the electoral list.

During the search, Agency staff discovered more than 90,700 instances where citizens had attached incorrect photos. This information was successfully changed.

Citizens who wanted to change their identification photo were allowed to do so for free, using a photocopy of their identity card. This offer was open to people who were registered without an address (41,259 people).

More than 101,100 people were had their registration address removed, 3,606 people with an unqualified photo had their problem fixed and 6,807 people who did not have a photo in the registration database also had their issue sorted.

The Electoral legislation said more than 60,000 people who had their identification cards annulled because of fraudulent or invalid identification cards were not included in the electorate database.

In order to provide citizens the right to vote, Georgia’s Justice Minister issued an order that would waver the fee to issue an identification card to those people who were removed from the electoral list. This offer was open if citizens applied to the State Services Development Agency before June 1, 2014.

To date, 25,918 people have taken advantage of this opportunity and been issued with identification cards, which will allow them to vote in the June 15 election.