The flaw in the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) is a human mistake, however, the CEO is responsible for not making this information public on time. Such a statement released today the Board of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED).
Board members Baia Pataraia and Tamara Sartania presented the investigation report and the board’s recommendations for future steps.
“On November 1, 2020, ISFED published the preliminary PVT results, which missed the results later published by the Central Election Commission (CEC) in the case of 3 parties. There was also a mistake in other parties’ outcome. ISFED internal audit revealed a technical fault in the PVT formula since invalid ballots were also counted. The percentage of votes received by the candidates after the correction changed slightly and approached the CEC results. The announcement of the updated results by ISFED on December 11 prompted additional questions.
In particular, ISFED impartiality, professionalism, and long-standing reputation have been called into question. Also, allegations of pressure on ISFED and its CEO were voiced. An extraordinary ISFED Board meeting was held on December 12 following the high public interest and a board member request. The board voted for creating a PTV Fault Investigation Commission.
The Commission should have investigated the causes of the alleged PVT defect during the 2020 parliamentary elections and the measures taken by the management of the organization to eliminate the problem.
The commission investigated between December 12-20. During this time, the Commission spoke with the ISFED Executive Director, Deputy Director, staff involved in the PVT process, ISFED top and middle management, as well as one of the experts from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), who was directly involved in the 2020 PVT.
Based on the interviews and the review of the documentation, the Commission considers that the deficiency found in the vote tabulation formula is a human mistake, the responsibility for which lies equally with the ISFED PVT Coordinator / Deputy Director and the NDI Washington’s experts.
According to the Commission, the ISFED Executive Director and her Deputy only initially knew about the alleged defect.
The Commission reported that the ISFED management was aware of the need to make the technical fault known to the public, however, the announcement was postponed until the end of the audit since the shortcoming was a maximum of 1.7% and did not affect the distribution of mandates”, - reads the statement.