BHHRG

About BHHRG

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

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The Referendum in Montenegro and its Aftermath
HITS: 2579 | 12-01-2007, 16:56 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Montenegro , Elections, Analyzing

The BHHRG observers visited 7 polling stations in Virpazar, Bar, Sveti Stefan and Kotor. The atmosphere between the evenly-balanced memberships of the individual election commissions was relaxed. Everywhere three pro- and three anti-independence commissioners were present. Queues were witnessed early in the day but by late afternoon the flow of voters had become a trickle. Although the members of the electoral commissions expressed no doubts about the proper conduct of the poll in their own stations, unionist members made complaints about the one-sided nature of the referendum campaign and the local media coverage of it.
Shortly after voting ended at 21.00 exit polls were read out on TVCG giving victory to the ‘yes’ campaign. Leaving aside the fact that BHHRG had seen no evidence of any exit polls during 21st May, it seemed out-of-order for the Montenegrin public to receive the projected results from two NGOs – Cesid and CTD rather than from the Republican Referendum Commission. Appropriately, a list of their foreign ‘donors’ appeared on a screen behind the presenters. Immediately, the ‘Yes’ campaign started to celebrate its anticipated victory.

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The Election in Estonia: Polling day and results
HITS: 1996 | 1-05-2003, 16:59 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Estonia , Elections, Political science

BHHRG observed the voting in Paldiski, Keila, Rakvere, Vaike-Maarja and Tartu. On the whole, the voting was conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner, but BHHRG’s observers were struck by the absence of domestic observers in any of the polling stations - the only exception was at Paldiski No. 1, where one observer was present. This observer was actually a candidate from the Russian Party (which campaigned on a platform of overhauling the health system to allow inexpensive Russian medicines into the country). This should set alarm bells ringing for the forthcoming EU referendum is held with a similar dearth of domestic observers.
In other polling stations, BHHRG encountered a few minor problems. In Keila No. 2, also in the 4th district, BHHRG found the polling station housed in a sports complex that did not qualify as a public building. The complex, which included an indoor swimming pool, was a business concern that belonged to a “sports union.” This was odd, considering Keila was clearly a large enough municipality to have schools and other public buildings to serve as polling stations. BHHRG was bothered by the large poster of Reform Party leader and Prime Minister Siim Kallas displayed just beyond the parking lot, a little too close to the polling station entrance for comfort.

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The US Midterm Election 2002
HITS: 9705 | 29-11-2002, 09:39 | Comments: (0) | Categories: United States , Politics, Elections

Florida state law specifies that the only persons allowed inside the polling stations while voting is taking place are:
The Supervisor of Elections or the Deputy Supervisor of Elections (county officials who are the equivalent of regional or district election commission chairmen)
Clerk and Assistant Clerks (equivalent of precinct election commission chairman and deputies)
Inspectors (precinct election commission workers who verify identity and authorize voters to receive ballots)
Poll Deputies (civilian officials who maintain order around the polling station)
Poll watchers (equivalent of election observers)
Poll watchers must be certified by the Supervisor of Elections and must be designated by a candidate, political party, or “political committee.”

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