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Recount of Ballots Didn't Affect Preliminary Results of Second Round, CEC Says

By Khatia Bzhalava
Wednesday, November 3
The Central Election Commission (CEC) has recounted data of the 201 polling stations and stated that the recounting of ballots did not affect the preliminary results of the municipal election run-offs. According to the CEC, the process was conducted transparently and could be monitored by the media, observer organizations, and representatives of eligible entities.

Per the changes of election reform prescribed by the April 19 agreement, within 6 days, 5 polling stations revealed randomly from each electoral district must be recounted. According to CEC’s Chairperson Giorgi Kalandarishvili, after the first round of elections, a total of 812 polling stations have been recounted nationwide, which is an “unprecedented case of ballot recounts of such scale in contemporary electoral history.”

"The recount process of ballots at District election commissions (DECs) once again confirmed that the key goal of election administration is having a transparent and open electoral process and high trust towards the election results,” Kalandarishvili stated at yesterday’s briefing.

According to him, as a result of recounting, data was slightly changed in some polling stations but the result of the election was not affected. Ballots in 194 polling stations were recounted in mayoral elections and in 172 cases, the results remained unaltered. In total, mayoral candidates lost 31 votes and gained 53 votes. Of 33 polling stations recounted in majoritarian elections, the results remained the same in 27 cases. In total, majoritarian candidates lost 7 votes and gained 5.

On Monday, Ivane Norakidze, the CEC member announced at the meeting that the recount procedures, as well as video recording of counting, have contributed to the increased transparency of the process. Video recording was implemented at 1 457 election precincts during the second round of municipal elections and was not conducted at 292 election precincts. “To ensure the increased credibility and transparency towards the process” the CEC has addressed the District Election Commissions with a new recommendation to randomly select and recount ballots at polling stations where the vote-counting process was not recorded on camera.

According to the final election results of the election run-offs, the ruling party mayoral candidates have won in all self-governing cities and municipalities except for Tsalenjikha, where the UNM party candidate, Giorgi Kharchilava, won with 51.11%.