The Coalition’s preliminary assessment of the Election Day of the 2022 general election in BiH is that at most polling stations, the Election Day went off in line with the BiH Election Law and implementing acts.
Notable are improvements compared to the previous election cycles, which are largely due to the implementation of the Coalition’s 14 recommendations concerning technical improvements in the voting process. Few cases involving abuse of third-person assistance and family voting were registered.
The Coalition’s legal team processed 91 serious violations of election rules, some of which could affect the election results at the polling stations in question. Observers registered pressure on voters and other irregularities, especially irregularities in the voting process.
The observed irregularities point to the need for additional qualitative improvements in the election process, particularly in the segments concerning the prevention of criminal acts related to prohibited pressure on voters and reforms of polling station committees before Election Day. It would be necessary to introduce new technologies for Election Day (electronic voter identification, ballot paper scanning, and electronic tabulation of election results.
The Pod lupom Coalition expects that all irregularities, especially those containing elements of a crime, will be investigated as soon as possible to protect the integrity of the election process and votes.
Election results for the Presidency of BiH
The Coalition “Pod lupom” processed the election results for the Presidency of BiH based on statistically representative sample of the polling stations (the so-called PVT). We can confirm that the results of all races for the seat on the Presidency of BiH are within the margin of statistical error, which means that they are in line with the results currently being processed by CEC BiH.
The Coalition’s results for a Bosniak member of the Presidency of BiH:
- DENIS BEĆIROVIĆ 57.49% (with a margin of error of +/- 1,45%)
- BAKIR IZETBEGOVIĆ 37.23% (with a margin of error of +/- 1,60%)
- MIRSAD HADŽIKADIĆ 5.27% (with a margin of error of +/- 0,28%)
The Coalition’s result for a Serb member of the Presidency of BiH:
- ŽELJKA CVIJANOVIĆ 52.58% (with a margin of error of+/- 3.5%)
- MIRKO ŠAROVIĆ 35.61% (with a margin of error of +/- 3.5%)
- NENAD NEŠIĆ 5.74% (with a margin of error of +/- 0.33%)
- VOJIN MIJATOVIĆ 4.72% (with a margin of error of +/- 0.96%)
- BORISLAV BIJELIĆ 1.39% (with a margin of error of +/- 0.40%)
The Coalition’s result for a Croat member of the Presidency of BiH:
- ŽELJKO KOMŠIĆ 57.57% (with a margin of error of +/- 5.04%)
- BORJANA KRIŠTO 42.43% (with a margin of error of +/- 5.04%)
Turnout by 6:30 pm
The Pod lupom Coalition also monitors the voter turnout. The registered voter turnout in the 2022 general election in BiH by 6:30 pm is 50.3% (with a margin of error +/- 1.11% at 0.99 confidence interval.
The work of the local election commissions (LECs)
The Coalition’s observers smoothly monitored the work of the election commissions except in two municipalities.
In 81% of cases, the polling station committees received the polling material on the premises of the local election commissions, while in the remaining cases, the polling material was received in sports halls, houses of culture, rented offices, etc.
All members of LECs were not on LECs’ premises in five municipalities.
In 36% of cases, predominantly all members of the polling station committee brought the polling material; in 53.5%, some members of the polling station committees brought the polling material, and in almost 10.5% of cases, only the president of the polling station committee brought the polling material.
Large crowds were created during the handover of the polling material in six municipalities. In three municipalities, the conditions during the wait for the handover of the polling material were conducive to theft, replacement, or damage of the polling material.
In three municipalities/cities, LECs did not create clear rules or good organization for the handover process from the moment of arrival of the polling station committee at the local election commission.
In 23 municipalities/cities, there were registered cases of visibly incorrectly packed material by the polling station committees.
In three municipalities/cities, there were registered cases of damaged material, which may indicate that somebody opened the polling material. This may relate to, for example, a missing seal on the bag, loose seals or different than the standard seals on all other bags, etc.
In 88% of cases, representatives of the local election commissions carried out a standard verification of the material that was being handed over. In ten municipalities/cities, observers recorded that this procedure was mostly complied with.
In 18 municipalities/cities, the LEC representatives opened the bags to correct mistakes on the forms or in the packing of the material.
The most frequent errors and/or issues that arose during the handover of the polling material from the polling stations were: unsealed bags or incorrect packing (29% of cases), errors, or incorrectly filled forms (19% of cases). In 46% of cases, no problems in the handover of the polling material were registered, and 6% of cases fall under the category of other issues.
In 22 municipalities/cities, operators entering the data into the JIIS application were located at the location of receipt of the polling material. Observers noted that in two municipalities/cities, operators were not trained well for data entry, i.e., difficulties arose during the use of the JIIS application. The most frequent problems when entering data into JISS were that the system created issues (in 12% of cases) and that operator made errors (5% of cases). There were no issues with entering data in 70% of cases, and other cases relate to some other issues. In 75% of cases, the controller of the election results supervised the operators who were entering the data into JIIS. In 23% of cases, observers reported that controllers mostly supervised data entry, with a few exceptions.
In 85% of cases, there was no repeated count. In the cases where there was a repeated count, in one municipality, the recount was carried out by the polling station committees, and in 11 municipalities and cities, this was done by special teams formed by the local election commission.
Objections to the work of LECs were filed in six municipalities/cities.
Observers assessed the operation and activities of the local election commission as follows: excellent in 62% of cases, very good in 27% of cases; the operation of a few local election commissions was assessed as good or satisfactory, while no LEC was assessed as bad.
Final processes at the polling station
Irregularities in the packing of the polling material were registered at 26 polling stations. All members of the polling station committees did not sign the Stock form and Aggregate Results Form at nine polling stations (050A049 Tuzla, 139A060 Novo Sarajevo, 136A018 Centar Sarajevo, 131A035 Ilidža, 093A077 Zenica, 133A039 Novi Grad Sarajevo, 083B026A Zvornik, 007B028 Novi Grad RS, 139A040 Novo Sarajevo). Yellow copy of the Aggregate Result Form was not displayed at 20 polling stations. Observers experienced some form of pressure during their work at 25 polling stations.
Determining results for the Presidency of BiH
Discrepancies in the accuracy test for the election of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina were registered at six polling stations (137A043 Stari Grad Sarajevo, 182B035 Trebinje, 034B252 Banja Luka, 032A023 Sanski Most, 167A004 Goražde, 164B005 Gacko). At six polling stations, all ballots for members of the Presidency of BiH did not have the stamp or signature of the member of the polling station committee as prescribed (139A019 and 139A080 Novo Sarajevo, 136A051 Centar Sarajevo, 050A083 Tuzla, 151A001A Mostar, 038B040B Doboj). Declaring invalid ballots for members of the Presidency of BiH was not carried out in line with CEC’s regulations at two polling stations (079A034 Živinice, 032A023 Sanski Most). At one polling station (133A080 Novi Grad Sarajevo), adding/annulment of votes on the ballot papers for members of the Presidency of BiH was registered during the vote count. Observers’ objections/complaints concerning determining election results for members of the Presidency of BiH were registered at 14 polling stations. Serious violations during the vote count that could affect the election results for the Presidency of BiH at those polling stations were registered at four polling stations (035B014 Čelinac, 083B029A Zvornik, 034B010 Banja Luka, 135A039 Vogošća).
Determining results for the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ballot papers from the box that did not have the stamp or signature of the member of the polling station committee at four polling stations (136A051 Centar Sarajevo, 054B018 Lopare, 093A077 Zenica, 115A010 Kiseljak). Declaring invalid ballots for these levels was not carried out in line with CEC’s regulations at seven polling stations (136A051 Centar Sarajevo, 004A005 Bosanska Krupa, 101B005 Šekovići, 038B040B Doboj, 131A041 Ilidža, 144B032 Pale RS, 111A023 Novi Travnik). Adding of votes on ballot papers during the vote count for the House of Represenatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH was registered at two polling stations (133A019 Novi Grad Sarajevo, 083B026A Zvornik).
Determining results for other government levels (President and vice presidents of Republika Srpska, National Assembly of Republika Srpska, House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of BiH, cantonal assemblies)
Ballot papers from the box that did not have the stamp and signature of the member of the polling station committees at seven polling stations (136A051 i 136A024 Centar Sarajevo, 004A005 Bosanska Krupa, 101B005 Šekovići, 038B040B Doboj, 056B002 Ugljevik, 111A023 Novi Travnik). Declaring invalid ballots for these levels of government was not carried out in line with CEC’s regulations at eight polling stations (074B025 Teslić, 184B011 Kostajnica, 185B008 Milići, 093A077 Zenica, 077A053 Zavidovići, 079A021 Živinice, 106A025 Livno, 024B036 Modriča). Adding of votes on the ballot papers during the vote counting for these government levels was registered at seven polling stations (147B024 Višegrad, 094A049 Kakanj, 139A080 Novo Sarajevo, 137A023 Stari Grad Sarajevo, 083B026A Zvornik, 013B024 Prnjavor, 064B015 Mrkonjić Grad).
The process of determining numbers
Pens were found at the counting desks after the opening of the ballot box at 1.1% of the polling stations. Unused ballot papers were not packed in the original boxes and were not together with envelopes with spoiled ballot papers and other than red pens stored in a protective bag at 1.5 % of the polling stations. One observer of the Pod lupom Coalition was not able to observe the counting process at one polling station.
The closing of the polling stations
The closing of the polling station was mostly in line with election rules and regulations The number of polling stations that closed at 7 p.m. is 80%; 16.5% of the polling stations closed by 7:15 pm and the remaining 3.5% closed by 8 p.m. All members of the polling station committees were not present at the closing of the polls at five polling stations. Persons were allowed to enter the polling stations after the close of the polls at 12 polling stations.
The voting process
Voting irregularities such as handing over multiple ballot papers to one person, one person voting multiple times, or one person voting multiple times on behalf of persons not present at a polling station were registered at 40 polling stations.
Member of the polling station in charge of handing over ballot papers did not leave an imprint of the stamp and sign front sides of each ballot below the text reading “Voting Instruction” in the lower left corner stamp at 20 polling stations. This irregularity may have as a result that there will be a larger number of ballot papers with stamps and signatures than the number of voters who voted, which leaves room for abuse of such unused ballot papers.
Pressures on voters to vote for a particular political subject were registered at 38 polling stations; intimidations and pressures on voters were registered at 13 polling stations.
Up to ten cases where the name and surname of a voter were read aloud during their identification were registered at every fifth polling station. More than ten cases of this type of irregularity were registered at 31 polling stations. This procedure was altered since the last elections in BiH, and the name and surname of a voter should not be read aloud.
Voting without prior checking of the prescribed identification documents was registered at 17 polling stations, whereas this type of irregularity was registered more than 10 times at one polling station.
Up to ten cases of sending voters away from a polling station for not being on the excerpt from the Central Voter Register were registered at almost half of the polling stations, while more than ten such cases were registered at 11 polling stations.
The Coalition’s observers registered up to ten cases of family voting at every other polling station in the country. More than ten cases of family voting were registered at 11 polling stations.
The new procedure for third-person assistance was not complied with at 21% of the polling stations (up to ten cases). More than ten cases of this irregularity were registered at seven polling stations.
Up to ten cases where the same person was assisting multiple voters to vote in a voting booth were registered at 15% of the polling stations, while more than such cases were registered at four polling stations.
A longer presence of unauthorized persons was registered at 23 polling stations.
Opening of the polling stations
In 91% of cases, all members of the polling station committees were present at the polling stations at 6 am.
Problems with the polling material were registered at 2% of the polling stations, while ballot papers were not manually counted at less than 1% of the observed polling stations.
The information that raises concerns is that the list of members of the polling stations showing the name of the appointing political subject for every member of the polling station committee was not displayed at 20% of polling stations in the country, which was a requirement. At almost 7% of the polling stations, the list is visible, but it shows the code instead of the name of the political subject.
Almost all polling stations observed the requirement to show empty ballot box before the opening of the polling station.
A total of 79% of polling stations opened exactly at 7 am; another 18% of polling stations opened by 7:15 am, and the remaining polling stations opened with up to one hour delay.
The secrecy of the vote was ensured at all polling stations i.e., all voting booths were arranged so that no one can see how a voter votes but in line with the new procedure requiring a voting booth to be facing observers and members of the polling station committees.
Observers’ access to the polling stations
Observers had access to all polling stations to which they were assigned. Sporadic problems with accessing the polling stations were registered at the beginning, but they were timely resolved. Several individual cases involving problems in monitoring the election process were registered at a few polling stations.
Unfortunately, the Coalition faced the withdrawal of a certain number of observers, primarily in Banja Luka and Bijeljina. Despite this problem, the Coalition covered around 70% of the polling stations in these towns where its observers were deployed.
The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections “Pod lupom” would like to congratulate all civic, nonpartisan observers of the election process for their excellent work and to thank them for their remarkable engagement and contribution to the independent observation mission and free and fair elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Pod lupom Coalition, together with 85 civil society organizations, informal groups, and individuals, worked to organize the observation of the election process in the 2022 general election in the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina. Congratulations on the successfully realized observation mission that had begun much earlier belong to all, as each one of these organizations contributed to the protection of the electoral process in their local communities and laid down the foundation for independent observation in the future.
We would like to thank the media for their professional reporting and continuous support of the Coalition’s activities and for their efforts to improve transparency in the election process and the election process itself.
We thank most actors in the election process for their correct cooperation, hoping that it will continue and intensify in the coming period.
We would like to say a special thank you to all citizens voters for their support and confidence and their remarkable engagement and commitment to the elimination of election regularities in the 2022 general election.