Improving Georgia's Voter Registry
Supporting local collaboration to improve Georgia's voter list
Georgians polled in a May 2011 nationwide public opinion survey on electoral issues identified voter list inaccuracy as one of the main problems or concerns for them related to upcoming elections. This reflects a legacy of problems with the list over a number of elections. A low level of trust in Georgia’s voter registration system, plagued by reports of émigrés and the deceased remaining on the list, would impact Georgians’ overall trust in the outcome of the 2012 parliamentary elections and could impede the country’s effort to deepen its democratic advancement.
In March 2011, USAID provided support to civil society and government representatives to initiate and conduct a pilot voter addressing project in two districts of Georgia’s capital – Old Tbilisi and Didube-Chugureti – to eliminate duplicate addresses and correct inaccurate entries on the voters list. This initiative should help ensure a more precise voter registration database for parliamentary and presidential elections in 2012 and 2013. This would mark an important step toward a free and fair election cycle.
USAID’s assistance resulted in more than 133,000 Georgians being linked to new addresses and more than 20,500 to existing addresses. Documents for legalizing nearly 50,000 addresses were prepared and presented to the government’s Civil Registry Agency for legalization. Legislation to improve and regulate the process of updating voters’ addresses also was drafted to ensure sustainability,
To publicize these results and increase awareness among Georgian citizens, USAID’s project gave presentations to the public, media, civil society and government.
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