Parliamentary elections are coming closer, and already today, one can check his data in the preliminary lists of voters and correct inaccuracies, if there is any. In an interview to ForUm head of the managing service of the State register of voters Artur Vitrenko told about how not to lose the right to vote, how to change the place of voting and many others.

- Artur, Central Election Commission has blocked any possibility for "election tourism" with its decision to ban the change of voting district, allowing to change the temporary place of voting within the same district only. How many permissions, granted before the CEC decision, have you canceled?

- We've checked the lists of voters, who applied for change of voting district, to find out who was a member of regional and district election commissions and who was not. After the examination, we left about 600 decisions untouched, the rest were cancelled.
- According to the Register data, provided by the Party of Regions representative in CEC Vladyslav Zabarski, four districts were the "winners" - #212, 221, 222 (Kyiv) and #95 (Irpen, Kyiv region). After the examination, the numbers have changed considerably, and voting outside the district is now allowed to 30 voters at # 212 district (291 voters before the CEC decision), to 5 voters at #221 district (398 voters before the decision) and to 12 voters at #222 district against 950 travelers before the decision. #95 district had 941 'outsiders' and now has only 93. Is it like this?

- We did not make special analysis to reveal "winners", as you say - it's not within our competence. I can only tell you that as of today the decisions of the Register body on change of voting place not within a district have been cancelled.

- How many Ukrainians have got the right to change the place of voting without changing the voting address?

- As of today, the Register body has changed the place of voting for 3.5 thousand people all over Ukraine. These are members of election commissions and voters, whose places of voting have been changed within districts.
- Are there any exceptions from the rule of "one district"? If yes, who has the right to vote outside the district without changing the voting address?

- Only members of regional and district electoral commissions can change the place of voting without changing the voting address. There are no other exceptions. Such norm is stipulated in the law on parliamentary elections and specified in the resolution of the Central Election Commission.

- What is the change of voting address? How is it carried out?

- Voting address is the address of person's registration and living, except for certain categories of citizens, like militaries and prisoners. We receive information about residences from Interior Ministry.

- What if a street has been renamed or buildings have been renumbered by local authorities? Do voters have to change the note in the passport to take part in the elections?

- Not necessarily. If voting stations know for sure that the inconsistency between the voting address and passport information concerns the same street or building number, it cannot be an obstacle for participation in the elections.
- What if a person changes his residence on the eve of the elections, let's say on October 26-27? Will he be automatically included in the new district? How to make sure you are on the voting lists?

- In this case a voter won't be included automatically, as the list of voters gets confirmed by the Register body not later than five days before the election day.  After this term, voters must appeal to court.

The same concerns the change of persona data (change of last name after marriage, for example).
We print confirmed lists five days before the election day. It is some kind of a buffer. Of course, there are special districts, where lists are made ex post, for example in hospitals. However, the confirmation of lists in such districts occurs not later than three days before the election day. If a person has been included in the list of voters in a hospital, he must be excluded from the residence list. This requires time...

- Ukrainians already can check the data in the preliminary lists of voters. Moreover, voting stations will soon distribute invitations to the elections. What should voters do if they find inaccuracies in the personal data?

- The preliminary lists have been printed and delivered to district voting stations so that people can check their names. The invitations will be printed not by electoral commission members, but by the Register body. It means the data in the invitation will correspond to the data the Register has on this or that voter.

If a voter finds any inconsistency, he can appeal to the Register body, which will consider the matter immediately and send the decision to the district election commission and to the applicant himself. The applications must be submitted not later than five days before the election day, through October 22
- How many voters are registered in Ukraine?

- According to the Register data, there are 36 million 600 thousand voters. This is rounded data.

- How often is the data in the Register updated?

- The database gets updated monthly. We process about 12 thousand documents, containing data about voters. Every month we introduce new data about 50.5 thousand people, who got the right to vote, 55.8 thousand people , who lost the right to vote, 266 thousand people, who changed the voting address, 62 thousand people, who changed identification personal data, mostly the last name.  
We also kill about 5.7 thousand of multiple data: when the system finds "double gangers", jointly with Interior Ministry we check the data, and if we confirm it is a repeated data about the same person, extra data gets killed. 

We receive data from various bodies, establishments and institutions. The majority of data comes from the Interior Ministry - 73% of records. Justice Ministry provides data about the dead - 17% of records, and State penitentiary service gives information about the detainees - 4% of records.

Moreover, Defense Ministry provides information about military servicemen, which is 3% of records, courts provide data about legal capacity of votes - 0.2% of records. Specialized institutions provides information about homeless people (0.4%), Health Ministry provides information about the disabled (1.2%) and foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine provide information about voters on consulate register (1.2%). The total number of records in such documents makes 330 thousand monthly.

- How accurate is the information about Ukrainian voters in the Register? What filters help to avoid mistakes?

- Documentary support of voters' personal data in the Register body provides reliability of this data.

As for the "filters", we have many and they are all different. Some of them are activated when Register data is being prepared in Interior and Justice Ministries. We also have a number of subsystems, which provide adequate upload of data. Separate system of filters searches for "double gangers".

- Cybercrimes bother even special services and militaries. Is there a possibility to interfere with the Register from outside? To copy the data or a part of it, for example?

- The net of the Register of voters has no connection with the outer world. The database is separate, closed and well protected. It is created with special encrypted channels. Even if someone manages to intercept a fragment of the information, he won't be able to decrypt it.

Moreover, all Register bodies have access only to a part of the database. There are no workers who have unlimited access to the database. Besides, all actions are monitored. We have a separate security service to monitor the actions of all workers. The system is well protected from the outside and inside attacks.

I want to remind that the presentation of the State Register was held on December 9, 2008. The system has been in operation for three years already. We have one of the best registers in the world. We have something to be proud of. Now, Ukraine invites representatives Central Election Commissions of different countries, including Europe, to share the experience.

Yulia Artamoshchenko, photos by Maxim Trebukhov


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