3.53 million voters on Georgia’s updated electoral list

The updated electoral list included people who live in Georgia as well as Georgian citizens who live abroad. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 03 May 2016 - 13:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

More than 3.5 million people are eligible to vote in this year’s Parliamentary Elections.

The Ministry of Justice of Georgia handed an updated list electoral list to the Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC), which showed as of May 1, 2016 there were 3.53 million eligible voters in Georgia.

The new list included people who lived in Georgia (including those who live in Georgia’s two occupied territories), those who are registered without indicating their address (30,298 people) and Georgian citizens who lived abroad.

The updated electoral list has caused some controversy among the opposition as the numbers of eligible voters was smaller to the 2014 General Census, which showed 3,713,804, people lived in Georgia.

Today Georgia’s Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani explained the electoral list would always include people who lived in Georgia’s occupied territories Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region.

We do not have the right not to include people living in the occupied territories in the electoral list. They are the citizens of our country however our connection with them is temporarily interrupted,” she said.
But the time will come when they will also take part in the elections. They are and always will be included in our electoral list,” Tsulukiani said.

The Minister added the updated electoral list also included all Georgian citizens who lived abroad but did not have citizenship of the foreign country in which they stayed. Because of this, the number of eligible voters could be different to other population statistics.

Of course we also included them in the electoral list. Nobody has the right to deprive them of the right to vote,” she said
And if the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) counted only the citizens who were on Georgian territory (excluding the occupied territories) [for the Census], we did not count it that way. We counted all Georgian citizens who have the right to vote,” said Tsulukiani.

In order to identify and correct all possible discrepancies, Georgia’s National Agency of Public Registry collaborated with the Public Service Development Agency and compared their databases.

The ultimate purpose of this was to bring the country’s election list as close to perfection as possible for the 2016 Parliamentary Election. Both agencies were obliged to send the electoral list to the CEC four times per year.