Government Plans to Film Voters During June 30 Elections

In Sokol Balla’s talk show Real Story yesterday evening, Prime Minister Edi Rama explained the precautions his government has taken to secure the local elections on June 30.

The [electoral] law is so strict for electoral crimes. When you go there, we taken all measures. […] You will be on film. You’ll see the film, “that’s you, brother. You went to this [voting] center, this [voting] point, you did this. Here, have a look.” We have taken all measures, perfect measures. […] And once they [those who violate the electoral code] have been punished, they’ll never leave Albania.

Prime Minister Rama thus reiterated his threat that those who violate the electoral will never be able to travel outside the country, a myth previously debunked by the European Commission.

The proposal made by the Prime Minister is in clear violation of the Electoral Code. No camera crews may be permanently positioned inside voting centers, as only members of the Voting Center Commission, the voters, and accredited observers are allowed (Electoral Code art. 110).

Putting cameras in or close to every voting center, as proposed by the Prime Minister, threatens the secrecy of the vote and could be perceived as a way to intimidate voters, especially when threatened to be “locked” inside the country. The recent recordings of known criminals gathering votes for the Socialist Party in Durrës County, have shown that this risk of intimidation is realistic. If the camera crews are paid out of public money, this proposal could even amount to a direct impairment of the conduct of the elections by the public administration, again in violation of the Electoral Code.