Recounts in 812 Precincts Led to ‘Minor’ Changes, CEC Says

The recounts of October 2 local elections results in 812 (of 3,664 total) precincts led to “minor” changes in the outcomes but “did not affect the overall results of elections,” the Central Election Commission stated on October 10.

CEC Spokesperson Natia Ioseliani stressed that recounts resulted in changes in only 121 of the precincts, while in 66.7% of the cases the outcomes were not altered.

According to the CEC, out of the 812 precincts, results of 360 were recounted randomly as per the recently amended Election Code, while of 194 – at the initiative of the District Election Commissions or on basis of a complaint. Meanwhile, CEC Chair Giorgi Kalandarishvili on October 9 recommended DECs to once again tally the results of 257 precincts.

Spokesperson Ioseliani said the Chairperson proposed the recounts if election observers “with extensive experience” filed relevant complaints, or if the data of Precinct Election Commissions showed a high number of invalid ballots.

According to the CEC data, after the recounts of the results of the 257 polling stations, 197 precinct outcomes were not altered, while minor changes were made to the results of 60 polling stations.

Spokesperson Ioseliani said that in total electoral subjects lost 24 votes but gained 53, while mayoral candidates lost 5 but received 41, and majoritarian hopefuls lost 13, but gained 82. She did not specify which parties and candidates lost or gained the votes.

She also denied accusations that the CEC had instructed relevant commissions to recount polling stations with a small number of annulled ballots.

Deputy CEC chair Giorgi Sioridze, the opposition Lelo party-appointed member at the CEC, alleged on October 10 the recounts were mishandled and demanded to tally the votes again in precincts with discrepancies.

“District Election Commissions received direct information on the several [specific] precincts to open for recounts,” he claimed, adding that in several cases polling stations with fewer void ballots were recounted instead of those with a higher number of invalid ballots.

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