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Press Release on the Opening of Voting Centers

June 23, 13:30 - Today, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (the Coalition) successfully deployed 350 observers to a random, representative sample of voting centers in the Qark of Tirana. Deploying observers to a random, representative sample in the Qark of Tirana allows the Coalition to extrapolate their observation findings to the entire Qark. The sample has a confidence level of 95% with a margin of error of 4.8%. Based on a sample of 350 voting centers in the Qark of Tirana, the Coalition's findings related to the opening procedures are as follows.

• Based on information received from the Coalition's non-partisan observers, the opening of the voting centers in the Qark of Tirana largely proceeded orderly with the exception of some procedural problems. Ninety-nine percent of voting centers were equipped with the necessary materials to begin the voting process, such as voter lists, ballot papers, and official stamps. According to CFFE data, 96.3% of Voting Centers in the Qark of Tirana opened within the first
half hour. Only 3.7% of voting centers in the Qark of Tirana opened late – after 7:30am. However, in 25% of the voting centers in the Qark of Tirana campaign material was not removed within 150 meters of the voting center. This is a violation of the Article 101/1 letter b of the electoral code.

 • Unfortunately, 60% of the voting centers in Tirana were assessed by the Coalition's observers as not physically accessible to disabled voters and 68% of the voting centers did not have adjustable voting booths for disabled voters. Accessibility issues are more prominent in CEAZ numbers 26, 29, and 37. As a result, many voters with disabilities will not be able to vote independently and in secret. The Coalition also notes that while the CEC planned to provide braille ballots for blind voters, this project was not realized. While the Coalition was encouraged by the CEC's decision to allocate funding to make voting centers accessible, more still needs to be done to accommodate the needs of voters with physical disabilities.

 In 22% of the Voting Centers in the Qark of Tirana there are no female members in the Voting Center Commission and in only 22% of the Voting Centers is the Chair of the voting center a woman.

The Coalition also strongly condemns the murder of the SMI supporter outside of the voting center in Lac district in the Qark of Lezhe and all other election related violence. The Coalition encourages all electoral subjects to publically instruct their supporters to remain calm, refrain from violence, and act peacefully throughout the electoral process.

So far, the Coalition has received 8 reports of instances of family voting but has so far not received any other significant incidents regarding the voting process. CFFE will not make an assessment of the process until the entire process is complete but will continue to provide information on its website and will make a preliminary statement on Monday at 12:00. More information on the voting process is available at www.klzn.org . Please follow the Coalition on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates on the voting and counting process.

The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (CFFE) is an independent, non-partisan Coalition established by three civil society organizations to promote civic participation in and monitoring of the electoral process. CFFE focuses on issues that influence the upholding of human rights (in front of the law), gender
equality and the rights of people with disability.

The Coalition project on election observation is being assisted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) through funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Austrian Development Agency, Civil Rights Defenders, the Open Society Foundation Albania , and most importantly, by the hundreds of Albanian citizens who volunteer their time to CFFE efforts for the Parliamentary Elections of June 23rd, 2013.

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Për më shumë informacion, lutem kontaktoni: Mirela Arqimandriti
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cel: 068 20 59 301 www.kzln.org
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Twitter: KZLN_CFFE_Albania