Extraordinary and by-elections are being held in Georgia’s ten municipalities on Saturday, with voters set to elect a majoritarian member of the Parliament in Poti, Senaki and Khobi, majoritarian members of city councils (Sakrebulo) in Gurjaani, Tianeti, Akhaltsikhe, Tkibuli and Kutaisi, as well as mayors of Tsageri and Terjola, using “large-scale” electronic voting for the first time in the country.
Natia Ioseliani, the Central Election Commission’s Spokesperson, highlighted the “significance” of these elections, calling it “the most important stage” in the history of Georgian elections. She called on all parties involved in the elections to work together for the “successful implementation” of the EA. “We should together support the holding of elections by using electronic technologies in compliance with international standards since elections are a common cause”.
The electronic voting is underway at 117 polling stations, out of the total of 165, Ioseliani said, noting that at the remaining 48 stations the elections would be held using the existing procedure and ballot papers would be digitised. Manual vote counting will also be provided to ensure “transparency and reliability”, she added.
“The members of the relevant election commissions have undergone multi-stage training in the direction of legislative innovations and the use of electronic technologies, and they are fully ready to serve the voters at a high professional level”, Ioseliani stressed, emphasising an “unprecedented number” of international observers would observe the elections.