The Public Council of CEC with a Proposal for Analysis of Invalid Ballots
The Public Council of CEC with a Proposal for Analysis of Invalid Ballots

After the deputies’ elections in October 2014, the Public Council at CEC made a preliminary analysis of the electoral process and results. The high national percentage of invalid ballots in the elections was unanimously identified as a significant problem, subject of thorough study and comprehensive analysis.

In pursuance of its decision, and in its role of a body assisting the activity of CEC, PC presented preliminary statement, methodology and a list, drawn up on the basis of monitoring organizations on site during the election day, and a subsequent comparative study of the results in 11 multi-member electoral districts /MED/, "standing out" with a high percentage of invalid ballots sections. The Public Council urged that CEC takes a decision to carry out an analysis of the causes, which had led to the invalidity of the vote.

The analysis is based on data from the final reports, published on CEC website, the 11 constituencies, where the average value of invalid votes, found in the ballot boxes, is higher than the national average (above 6.29%). The following districts were analyzed: 1 MED Blagoevgrad, 2 MED Burgas, 3 MED Varna, 13 MED  Pazardzhik, 15 MED Pleven, 16 MED Plovdiv City, 17 MED Plovdiv Region, 21 MED Sliven, 26 MED Sofia District, 27 MED Stara Zagora, 29 MED Haskovo.

The analysis of the reasons for the growth in invalid votes, based on the results of a field study and carried out by the method of controlled physical verification of invalid ballots in a pilot number of polling stations, is entirely within the responsibilities of CEC according Art. 57, para. 1, p. 47 of the Electoral Code and is essential for the preparation of adequate proposals aimed at improving the electoral process. Such an analysis would contribute to an objective assessment of the information campaign carried out among voters on how to vote, as well as for the degree of preparation of the election administration at district, municipal and sectional level. It is possible to identify other weaknesses of the electoral process too, to make recommendations and to implement effective practical measures for their removal.