PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF ELECTION DAY
The general assessment of the 2018 General Elections in BiH by the Coalition “Pod lupom” is that the elections were carried out mostly in line with the Election Law of BiH and the CEC’s implementing regulations. There was a number of certain incidental situations and irregularities on Election Day, which points to the necessity of improving the quality of election administration in BiH.
RESULTS FOR MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENCY OF BIH
The Coalition “Pod lupom” made the assessment of the election results based on the random, representative sample of polling stations. The data refer to 99.6% of the processed sample.
According to the preliminary findings of the Coalition, the highest number of votes for the Bosniak member of the Presidency of BiH has Šefik Džaferović (37.9%) with a margin of error +- 1.7%, followed by Denis Bećirović with 32.5 % of votes with a margin of error +- 1.4%, and Fahrudin Radončić with 12.9% of votes with a margin of error +- 1.1%. The other candidates for the Bosniak member of the Presidency have total 16.7% of the votes with a margin of error +- 0.8%.
Željko Komšić wins the highest number of votes for the Croat member of the Presidency of BiH, 54.3% of the votes with a margin of error +- 2.1 %, while Dragan Čović has 34.5% of votes with a margin of error +- 1.9%, and Diana Zelenika 5.9% of votes with a margin of error +- 0.8%. Other candidates for the Croat member of the Presidency of BiH have total 5.3% of votes with a margin of error +- 0.8%.
Milorad Dodik won the highest number of votes in the race for the Serb member of the Presidency of BiH, 54.0% of votes with a margin of error +- 1,1%; Mladen Ivanić is behind with 42.7 % of votes and a margin of error +- 1,1%. Other candidates for the Serb member of the Presidency of BiH have total 3.3% of the votes with a margin of error +- 0,4%.
Voter turnout at the national level is 53.6% with a margin of error of +-1%. Voter turnout at the level of the Federation of BiH was 51.2 % and a +-1,2 % margin of error and 55.2% for Republika Srpska with a +-1,4% margin of error. Margin of error is calculated with 95% confidence interval.
There were 399 critical situations, the term which implies violations of procedures and election rules, technical errors in the work of election administration at all levels or incidents at the polling stations. In cooperation with election authorities, 267 critical situations (67% of registered cases) were solved successfully during Election Day (and night).
The highest number of the registered cases concern the ban on observation of elections (88), voting irregularities (76), violence or threatened observers’ safety (17), suspicion of the so-called Bulgarian train (16) and other types of irregularities.
Citizens reported 215 irregularities. They mostly refer to bribery of voters, vote buying and violation of election silence.
THE VOTE COUNT
The Coalition’s observers and other observers of political subjects filed objections and complaints concerning determination of the voting results at 3.2% of polling stations. It was instructed to enter more than 100 Coalition’s objections into the Polling Station Poll Book, and the Coalition “Pod lupom” hopes that they will be reviewed carefully by the election authorities in accordance with Article 6.2 paragraph 2 of the Election Law, which says that the election commissions may upon receiving the information concerning the violation from the scope of their competence initiate a procedure by virtue of its authority.
Declaring of invalid ballots was carried out in line with the CEC’s regulations. More than 10% of invalid ballots for election of the members of the Presidency are found at 16% of polling stations, which is concerning. The yellow copy of the Aggregate Results Form was not displayed at 5.8% of the polling stations, and it was illegible at 19.6% of polling stations.
THE CLOSE OF POLLING STATIONS
79% of polling stations closed at 7 pm; 15% of polling stations closed by 7:15 pm, while the remaining 6% of the polling stations closed by 8 pm. At 76% of polling stations, there were no voters outside the polling station during the close. At 22% of polling stations, citizens who were outside the polling station at 7 pm were allowed to vote, while at 2%, voters were not allowed to vote. All members of the polling station committee were present during the close of the polls at the majority of polling stations
All observers were allowed to observe the voting process. Objections and complaints by the Coalition’s and other observers of the political subjects concerning the voting process were recorded at 14.7% of the polling stations.
Between 1 and 5 cases in which one person assisted multiple times voters taking the vote were registered in around 25% of polling stations, and between 1 and 5 cases of voting without valid identification documents were registered at 4% of polling stations.
The practice of a widespread family voting continued in these elections. Between 1 and 5 cases were registered at 52% of polling stations, with more frequent cases, between 6 and 25, being registered at 4% of polling stations. More than 25 such cases were registered at 1% of polling stations. In isolated cases it was observed that voters arrived at polling stations with ballots that were already filled out and that one person was given multiple ballots for the same electoral level.
The comparison of the types of irregularities by polling stations shows that usually only one type of irregularity appears at a polling station.
THE OPENING OF POLLING STATIONS
Preparations for the opening of polling stations were carried out mostly in line with the regulations. All members of the polling station committee were present at 82% of polling stations an hour before the opening of the poll, as required, while this was not the case in 18% of the polling stations.
Ballots were not counted manually at 2% of polling stations, and some elections materials were lacking at 6% of polling stations. In some isolated cases, ballot box was not shown empty prior to the opening of the polling station.
Total 72% of polling stations opened at 7 am; 23 % of polling stations opened between 7 am and 7:15 am, and 5% of polling stations opened between 7:15 am and 8 am. In some isolated cases, polling stations opened after 8 am and the secrecy of vote was not adequately secured.
A list containing names and surnames of members of the polling stations including the information about their affiliation to political subjects was not displayed in 21% of polling stations. This was the recommendation of the Coalition “Pod lupom” that the Central Election Commission adopted, and as such it is obligation of all polling station committees.
Some irregularities in packing the election materials were recorded in only 1.9% of polling stations.
OBSERVATION OF THE WORK OF LOCAL ELECTION COMMISSIONS
The Coalition “Pod lupom” had observers in all 143 local election commissions (LEC) in BiH. Until the time of finalizing this Press Release, 80 observers reported on the work of the election commissions. The general assessment of the work of LECs for now is that the majority of LECs are assessed as very good. Bags containing sensitive election materials were opened in as many as 30 LECs. Wrong packing of the election materials by members of the polling station committees (PSC) was registered in 23 LECs. Corrections in the Polling Station Poll Books or in the Forms from the polling stations were registered in 12 LECs. Big crowds while receiving the election materials were registered in 7 LECs.
ABOUT CITIZEN, NON-PARTISAN OBSERVATION OF THE 2018 GENERAL ELECTIONS
On Election Day, the Coalition “Pod lupom” had around 3, 800 citizen, non-partisan observers at around 3,450 polling stations in 143 Local election commissions, in 60 mobile teams, and 80 persons at the Data Processing Call Center. By 3 am on October 8, 2018, 60 mobile teams visited and reported from additional 837 polling stations. The observation mission covered 80% of the total number of regular polling stations.