Today, the working group on the Election Code has taken into consideration amendments, which concern voter lists and statistical data of the Voter Register. The information was provided by representatives of Civil Network OPORA, who attended the meeting.

On June 8, the official working group held its eighths meeting, dedicated to consideration of amendments to the Election Code. The following MPs of 22 working group members attended the meeting: Olena Boiko, Yurii Levchenko, Olena Ledovskykh, Nataliia Novak, Ruslan Sydorovych, and Oleksandr Chernenko. Besides that, there was present a co-author of other versions of the Code Viktor Zalizniak, representatives of the Central Election Commission and the State Voter Register, some assistants to MPs, and NGO members.

The working group considered today Articles 155-161 and 916-946, as well as amendments to them. They concerned the verification of voter data authenticity, the use of statistical information, liability for the Register maintenance procedures, compilation of preliminary voter lists by the Register maintenance bodies, voter notification about inclusion in the preliminary voter lists, civic oversight of the preliminary lists compilation, and delivery of preliminary voter lists to districts or territorial election commissions. It should be mentioned that consideration of amendments which concern disabled persons was postponed for a separate meeting, and will be considered before the finalization of the document.

In general, the working group has approved amendments suggested by MP Oleksandr Chernenko, which he had jointly developed with representatives of the State Voter Register. Thus, propositions were the following:

- to establish a list of the data about candidates, which may be specified through an inquiry to the Register;

- to establish a list of the data, which the corresponding bodies submit to the Register for compilation of preliminary voter lists;

- to determine the information, which should be included in personal invitations for the voters;

- to cancel civic oversight of the compilation of preliminary voter lists by control groups, which are based on submissions from parties, as long as this processes was required when the compilation was made manually.

Amendment to the Article 156 concerning the use of statistical information caused one of the biggest discussions.

Andrii Hevko, representative of the Reanimation Package of Reforms: “We will eliminate many questions as once as soon as this statistical information is published in open data format. To control the process, is very important to know how many voters a building has, without specification of their personal information. If this statistical information is available in open data format at the CEC website, there will be no need to provide it each time in response to inquiries of commissions. Besides that, such information is also important for various local services, because they also need to know the quantity of population. Besides that, there are always problems when abnormal votings occur in some buildings. It is important, for example, for headquarters of political parties to see election addresses, where tens of voters are registered instead of 1-2 voters. If the Register provides these data in a non-personal format of open data on its website, anyone interested will see this information, analyze and track anomalies. We are not talking about restricted information like military units or personal data of voters.”

Thus, the working group suggested that civic society representatives write this article based on their vision of how the Voter Register should present statistical information in open data format before the next meeting.

The group agreed to schedule the next meeting fir 18 June (Monday), at 1:00 PM. The consideration will start with Article 162 (amendment #947).

We would like to remind that this working group doesn't have a regulation for its activities and, therefore, there is no quorum or voting. However, it is important that each member attends the meetings, to consider all 4,400 as soon as possible and further the consideration of Election Code.

Based on the consideration results, the working group will provide its recommendations to the VRU Committee on Judicial Policy and Justice. The Committee, for its part, will consider on its meeting the recommendations and give its opinion on the draft Election Code for the second reading in Parliament.

It should be mentioned, that 251 amendments were considered by the group of Sub-committee on Elections and Referendums of the VRU Committee on Judicial Policy and Justice. The previous consideration of amendments in this group started on 21 December. On 28 February, VRU Committee on Judicial Policy and Justice had approved the working group to prepare draft Election Code of Ukraine for the second reading (#3112-1). On the second meeting, held on 4 April, the membership of this official working group was approved. It has 24 persons, including 22 current MPs and two experts, who participated in the development of other draft Election Codes.

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