Election Commission Refuses to Match Ballots Against Voter Lists  

The Central Election Commission (KQZ) recounted ballots of 11 ballot boxes in Lezhë County, finding irregularities in two of them.

Despite claims that more ballots were found in boxes than the number of voters per precinct, the KQZ decided to match votes cast in ballot boxes only against tabulations submitted by local election administration, which was composed of Socialist Party (PS) members.

The election commission, also composed of a majority of PS appointees, refused to match poll books administered during the voting process against the voter lists.

The recount revealed that one ballot for Conservative Party candidate Eduard Ndocaj was counted in favor of Socialist Party candidate Pjerin Ndreu. In another box, three ballots for Ndocaj were counted in favor of Democratic Conviction Party candidate Salvador Kacaj.

KQZ stated that the total number of ballots in all boxes was equal to that submitted by local administration after the first count.

Following the recount, KQZ dismissed the Conservative Party claim that the voting process was invalid.

KQZ Chairman Klement Zguri, appointed by opposition, requested for voter lists to be matched against the number of ballots cast in each box, rather than simply matching ballots cast against tabulations submitted by Socialist Party appointees. KQZ dismissed his request.

Zguri stated that political parties’ requests to recount ballots only, without cross checking them against the actual voter lists, were “farcical and insincere”, as the recount would not reveal the real issue.

Deputy Head of KQZ Denar Biba, appointed by the ruling PS, stated after the recount that “everything turned out fine.”

These are the only ballots boxes KQZ has decided to recount. It earlier dismissed a request by the Democratic Conviction Party to recount ballots in 41 of 61 municipalities.

The Democratic Party and opposition allies, who refused to participate in 30 June local elections, have requested the KQZ to match poll books administered during the voting process against ballots cast. KQZ has not replied to the request yet.