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Local elections in Ukraine 2020: Online broadcast

Source : 112 Ukraine

On October 25, Ukrainians elect mayors, heads of villages and towns, and lawmakers of local councils of all levels
20:20, 25 October 2020

Open source

21:18 Exit polls. Kyiv. Kharkiv. Odesa. Zaporizhzhia. Chernivtsi. Lviv. Mariupol. Krivoy Rog. Vinnytsia. Dnieper. And the rest.

19:50 At one of the polling stations in Dnipropetrovsk region, members of the commission kept ballots in casseroles.

19:25 Bakhmut. A man came to vote and found out that someone had already voted for him and his wife.

19:04 In Brovary, Kyiv region, the election results could be cancelled. The police opened a case on the fact of violation of the secrecy of the vote because of the numbers on the ballot papers.

18:39 Three members of the district election commission were diagnosed with a coronavirus in Kropyvnytsky.

18:18 Voting in Kherson. Many citizens here voted simply on the benches and while standing in line.

17:55 As of 17:00, the police received more than 3,000 reports of electoral violations.

17:33 According to Opora, the turnout across the country as of 16 p.m. is 27%.

17:20 In Mariupol, patients with coronavirus in the hospital could not vote because the doctor did not add them to the voting lists.

17:03 "Zelensky's poll" is not going well. For example, in Kherson region, a box with answers was stolen.

16:56 The largest number of electoral violations is recorded in Kyiv and Kyiv region.

16:42 Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy found his passport after all and ran to vote.

16:31 Most people came to vote in Odesa region (26%). The least number of people came in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions (14% each).

16:08 Situation as of 13:00. About 16% of voters voted in Kyiv and 13.5% - in Kharkiv. People are not to active, in general.

15:55 Few details about voting in Mykolaiv. One of the local men who came to the site tore up the ballot in protest.

15:20 Interior Ministry held a briefing on the current status of electoral procedure in Ukraine. The key points are the following:

- no facts pointing at a possible abort of elections in any location; in general, the election process is considered calm and orderly.

- 2,401 appeals about violations have been registered so far; most of these violations occurred in Kyiv and Kyiv region, as well as in Dnipropetrovsk region.

- Voters tear their bulletins apart, this is the most widespread kind of violation observed on polling stations today.

15:04 Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovy failed to vote because he lost his passport somewhere at home. He and his wife came to the polling station and had to return back home to get the ID. "I took the foreign passport, just in case, and the members of committee told me one cannot use it to vote, - politely but decisively", he said.

14:48 A fake election committee works in Sosnivka village, Sumy region. The illegally shaped, unauthorized committee organized voting for the rural council and the local community. It refuses to be included into the amalgamated community. The fake committee works under the same number as the real one does (No.590211). They printed the ballots themselves. Citizens just come to that polling station and vote. 

14:30 The Central Election Committee of Ukraine claims that there's a lot of information about separate violations coming from dozens of polling stations; but the authority does not consider these systematic or such that prevent the electoral procedure from continuing. 

14:15 According to Opora, the overall turnout of voters has so far made 13.5 percent (within possible error of 1.2 percent). During the presidential election in 2019, by this exact time of the day, the turnout made 20 percent.

13:47 - People in white hazmat suits come to the voters infected with Covid-19. According to Chesno.org, they are members of electoral committees who help the sick people vote, as long as these patients observe social distance and stay at home. One of these brigades (see image) works in Kharkiv region.

Brigade of volunteers in hazmat suits, Kharkiv region
Chesno

Meanwhile, Yuriy Kyrylov, the MP from Servant of the People party voted at his station in Kherson, southern Ukraine, wearing the mask in colors of his political force. Besides, he put the photo of himself casting the ballot on his page in a social network, which is a rude breach of the electoral law in Ukraine.

Yuriy Kyrylov, MP from Servant of the People party, voting
Social networks

***

12:55 As of this time, the police collected 1,280 appeals about violations of the electoral process. 14 criminal cases have been opened already. 

12:16 An anonymous call reached the police in Tyvriv, the settlement in Vinnytsia region, central Ukraine; the caller said the polling station was wired. The law enforcers evacuated people from the building, Opora reported.

12:01 1,481 bulletins were wrecked in Ivano-Frankivsk region, western Ukraine. In Stetsiv village, members of the local electoral committee invalidated wrong ballots by mistake. This is why the polling station there is still closed, as of 12.00 a.m. The new bulletins are being printed, and are to be delivered there soon.

***

11:40 This is how "presidential pool volunteers" look like. Chesno.org reports that they stand next to polling stations, near the cardboard boxes for bulletins. They urge people to answer the five questions in the poll. Anyone can participate repeatedly, an unlimited number of times, and no one controls this procedure. Most of those volunteers cannot clealry specify the organizations they work for. One of these people who works in Kharkiv says they paid him 1000 hryvnyas (roughly USD 34) for doing this job. 

Volunteer for "presidential poll", October 2020
Chesno

11:05 Committee of Voters of Ukraine claims following typical violations of electoral procedure:

- some voters who stand in lines ignore social distance markers;

- some members of committees do not wear their masks, protection screens, gloves; temperature measurements are performed chaotically.

- some committees lack necessary equipment.

***

10:35 Interior Minister Arsen Avakov claimed that polls held beyond the polling stations do not contradict the legal framework.

As of 10.30 a.m, President Volodymyr Zelensky cast his ballot, too. He showed up at a polling station in Kyiv with his wife, Olena Zelenska. The head of the state also participated in the poll, which he himself offered to organize on the election day. The President was going to talk to the press, but voters approached and interrupted him, asking him various questions from political agenda; he left the area without answering them.

Zelensky votes during local election in Ukraine, October 2020
Office of the President of Ukraine

10:16 Workers of certain electoral committees in Zhytomyr showed creative approach when improvising with voting cabins on their polling stations. The cabin, located in the gym in primary school No.35 is made from a ladder. The flag of Ukraine was simply put on top of the exerciser. 

Voting in Zhytomyr, October 2020
zhytomyr.info

***

09:50 As of 9.30 a.m., all polling stations in Kyiv opened and are working.

09:36 Prime Minister Denys Shmygal voted on his polling station in Lviv, accompanied by his family - wife and daughter.

09:13 Parliament's Speaker Dmytro Razumkov already voted on his polling station in Kyiv.

***

08:47 A polling station in Vyshgorod, Kyiv region, did not open on schedule. MP from Servant of the People party Oleksandr Dubinsky reported that on his Telegram channel.

"People were supposed to start voting by now. But many stations aren't ready for work", he wrote.

08:18 Meanwhile, National Police reports almost 900 violations on the silence day, October 24. "As of 9 p.m. [October 24], the police workers documented 891 appeals and messages about violations", it says. Some 500 appeals concern illegal campaigning - on city lights, in buildings, by the means of distribution of leaflets and setting up the campaigning tents. Most of violations are observed in Dnipropetrovsk, Rivne, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lviv and Kyiv regions.

08:02 Polling stations open all over Ukraine - except for occupied areas of Donbas and the annexed Crimea. 

*** 

On Sunday, October 25, Ukrainians elect lawmakers of local councils of all levels, as well as mayors, heads of villages and towns. First elections will also be held in 199 district councils. 

Elections of lawmakers of local councils will be orgazined and held under new electoral systems. The Electoral Code imposes multi-constituency majority election system in the rural, settlement, town and district council. Other rules of electioral procedure will be acting for regional and town councils in the towns with population above 90,000 and more voters. This is new electoral system of proportional representation with open lists of candidates. It's about 52 councils, 30 of these are town councils and 22 are regional ones. The system foresees that candidates could be only nominated by parties. New bulletins with numbers of candidates and lists of parties. 

Regular elections are also taking place today, where people are to vote for candidate as a lawmaker of the local council. Heads of villages, settlements and towns are being elected. Another innovation is observed during these elections; local councils will be electing village chiefs - instead of voters.
 
 
Besides, local elections have been canceled in separate areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions - for safety reasons.

The pandemic of Covid-19 also affected the course of election procedure. People will have to come to polling stations in masks - and their own pens, too. That's what the government recommends. 

Related: Local Elections 2020: Ukraine's Ombudsman reports absence of protective measures at polling stations

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