Parliament Speaker: electronic voting for 2024 Elections will “remove speculation”

Papuashvili said “this is a very important innovation because it will remove all kinds of speculation by radical groups”. Photo: Shalva Papuashvili’s Facebook, 09 Oct 2023 - 16:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Shalva Papuashvili, the Georgian Parliament Speaker, on Monday said the introduction of electronic voting across the country ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary Elections would “remove all kinds of speculation” by domestic “radical groups” about “rigged elections”.

The official made the comment while commenting on the new public information campaign by the Central Election Commission that launched on Monday with the goal of informing citizens about the novelty.

In his press comments, Papuashvili said 90 percent of voters would undergo verification at polling stations using electronic technology, while voting itself would be handled through an electronic counter. 

This is a very important innovation because it will remove all kinds of speculation by [domestic] radical groups over [rigged] elections”, Papuashvili said. 

Papuashvili also said citizens abroad would also be offered the new system during the vote at polling stations, while adding remote voting had been used only in a “few countries” and carried “specific risks”, and citing the example of the United Kingdom, where he said plans for remote voting had been cancelled due to threats of “Russian interference”. 

The CEC tested the new technology earlier this month during midterm elections in several municipalities, and claimed they had “proved to be successful”. 

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, a domestic non-Governmental organisation working on election topics, on Monday also said the technology had “worked well”, and pointed to the need for a broad information campaign over the innovation.