A fine in the amount of 300 to 500 KM is received for 400 pre-marked ballots at polling station!
31 months have passed since the 2020 Local Elections. New local elections will be called in exactly 12 months. The election administration, the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, reported certain cases from these elections to the competent prosecutor’s offices because they believed that the violations committed by the polling station committees at those polling stations had the characteristics of criminal acts. After 31 months, the competent prosecutor’s offices have decided not to pursue criminal proceedings against individual presidents and members of polling station committees who violated the BiH Election Law in the 2020 Local Elections.
The CEC BiH did the only thing that was able to do: imposed them violation penalties, fines and a ban to participate in elections for a period of 4 years. However, monetary sanctions ranging from 300 to 800 KM encourages the perpetrators to do the same in all subsequent elections. And why shouldn’t they? The profit they potentially provided to their political entities and/or individuals on the lists is much higher and it is very likely that these political entities i.e., principals are going to pay these sanctions. And why shouldn’t they? The potential profit is much higher.
What will not be prosecuted?
Mostar: 13 polling station committees were sanctioned with fines from 600 to 800 KM and a 4-year ban to conduct elections due to incorrectly recorded results per candidates and political subjects.
Everyone is prohibited from working in Electoral Management Bodies for 4 (four) years.
How many such cases have gone unnoticed and how many mandates have been won due to wrongly and/or inaccurately recorded results?
Novi Grad (RS), polling station 007B040, in addition to the ban to engage imposed to the president of the polling station committee, he was also fined with 500 KM, while the members of the polling station committee fined with 300 KM due to injuries at the polling station, which caused the elections at that polling station to be repeated. “Violations at the polling station” are: problems and interruption of voting at the polling station and 400 pre-marked ballots for the election of the mayor and members of the assembly. The elections at this polling station were annulled and held again.
We ask the competent prosecutor’s office or CEC BiH to inform the public about the reasons why criminal proceedings will not be conducted in this case? In this municipality, for the 2022 General Election, an almost identical situation happened at another polling station (007B051), where pre-marked ballots “appeared” again. We expect that the “same” case will be treated in the same way as before. No one will be held criminally responsible.
Doboj, polling station 038B018B sanctioned the president of the polling station committee with fine in an amount of 800 KM as well as the members of the polling station committee with 300 KM for preventing the work of election observers. They are also prohibited from working in Electoral Management Bodies for the period of 4 years.
Every time observers are banned from observing elections, the question arises: “What happened while observers were not at the polling station”? In the future, this must constitute grounds for the annulment of the election at any such polling station.
The CEC BiH decisions are not final decisions. They can be appealed.
And why do citizens have no confidence in the integrity of the electoral process? Several reasons are listed above.
Sanctions imposed for violations of the Election Law and electoral fraud are necessary in order to ensure the integrity of elections. Without all kinds of sanctions, from financial penalties to imprisonment, there is little motivation for political subjects and election administrations to follow laws and regulations. Sanctions are the only way to hold violators accountable for their actions, but also to give the victims of election fraud a sense of justice and restore confidence in the electoral process.
New elections will be called for 365 days. What are we doing to prevent fraud?