For Immediate Release
Contact: Elen Asatryan
tel: (818) 500-1918
UC Statement on Artsakh Elections
STATEMENT REGARDING NAGORNO KARABAKH REPUBLIC PARLIMENTARY ELECTIONS BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA ELECTION OBSERVATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TEAM The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) conducted its 6th Parliamentary election on May 3, 2015 with a fair and transparent system consistent with international standards according to a team of nonpartisan academic and subject matter experts from the United States, Mexico and Brazil. The University of California Election Observation and Technical Assistance Team observers visited with representatives, candidates and party offices, polling stations, and government offices including the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Election Day, observers visited 16 polling stations in six of Artsakh’s nine regions and a regional passport department that assists voters who are not on the voting list. The team also observed the opening and closing processes of polling stations, and witnessed the chain of custody of voted and counted ballots to the district administration center of the Regional Electoral Commission. The team also visited a polling station set up in the country’s only prison where 20 voters were eligible to vote. Prior to Election Day the team visited a polling station set up in Yerevan for Artsakh citizens residing in Armenia including those who are attending either university or military school located there. Throughout the election, the observers witnessed a fair, accurate, and transparent election process. “The commitment of the voters and poll workers of Nagorno-Karabakh would rival any country” Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin said as reports of from the polls showed turnout to be 70% or higher. Observers also noted that women in Nagorno-Karabakh were equal participants in the election in every aspect including participating as voters, poll workers, party representatives, government officials, and candidates. The team of observers will prepare a report outlining their findings and make suggestions to improve the electoral process. The preliminary report will include recommendations to implement alternative voting options for voters who are absent from their precinct on Election Day, and those who are not able to get to the polling station. The University of California Election Observation and Technical Assistance Team is comprised of a group of professional non-partisan academics, researchers and experts in the fields of electoral processes and human rights. Members of the University of California Election Observation and Technical Assistance Team also monitored the 2012 presidential elections in Artsakh. Team members include: Karin Mac Donald, Director of Election Administration Research Center at UC Berkeley, Gail Pellerin Santa Cruz County Clerk, Kristen Abajian Human Rights Initiative at UC Davis, Peter Abajian The Paros Foundation, Carlos Antaramian CIESAS-Mexico City, Rodrigo Gomez Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa Mexico City, Heitor Loureiro Ph.D candidate, Sao Paulo State University.