The second round of presidential election in Ukraine started in a conflict-free environment and in line with legislative requirements. OPORA's observers didn't notice any serious violations during preparatory meetings of precinct election commissions, opening of polling stations and the first hours of voting.
The majority of polling stations opened on time or with a slight delay, and are working in the regular mode. Thus, 82.6% of PECs opened from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM. 17.3% of precincts opened earlier than the time established by legislation, i.e. 8:00 AM. 0.2% PECs opened more than half of an hour late. For example, special precinct #511332 in Odesa, which is located in Odesa Oblast Tuberculosis Dispensary, has opened at 8:45 AM. Polling station #740148 in Chernihiv oblast has launched the voting at almost 9:00 AM. Members of PEC #140379 in Donetsk sabotaged the opening, and remains closed. The National Police has already opened a criminal proceeding of this case. This PEC has 208 voters in the list.
According to OPORA's observers, deployed to polling stations that were selected using a nationally representative sampling, 99.8% of election commissions have gathered a quorum (with more than a half of membership present) to fulfill their duties. There were no problems about the presence and attendance of election commission members. Precinct election commissions, which are opened on the election day, comprise 14 members in average (on the first round, the average number of members in PECs was 15).
PECs have conducted preparatory meetings in line with the law. Observers didn't face any obstruction to watch the voting process at almost all 100% of polling stations. Only at 0.7% of polling stations, observers couldn't attend morning meetings and watch the beginning of voting process. At polling station #510137 (district #138, Odesa oblast), PEC members illegally removed an official observer from facilities during the preparatory meeting.
We would like to remind that a preparatory meeting includes such procedures as an opening of a safe (metal case) with ballot papers, installation of ballot boxes, and handing electoral documents to commission members. In general, all electoral subjects were free to observe and oversight key procedures at this stage.
Compared to the first round of voting, commissions have improved the situation with minutes of their preparatory meetings. Thus, only 2.5% of PEC members have failed to follow legal procedures (the number of such commissions in the first round was twice bigger – 5.4%).
Reference: OPORA's observation is aimed at impartial assessment of election administration, facilitation of free and fair election, and prevention of violations. In October 2018, Civil Network OPORA has launched a wide-scale observation of Presidential election in Ukraine. Thus, 204 observers have been deployed to each part of Ukraine since the official start of election campaign. Over 1,500 short-term observers will join them on 31 March 2019, and in the second round if it is held. They will also realize a parallel vote tabulation (PVT), aimed to receive election results faster and more accurate than exit-polls. Besides that, we monitor the use of budget resources for indirect campaigning, train law-enforcement bodies on peculiarities of election process, deployed a network of electoral rights ombudsmen, assessed Ukraine's realization of recommendations from international missions concerning the electoral reform, and conduct a voter awareness campaign.