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Election Monitor – Dozens of citizens prevented from voting

Alisa Karović

izSince this morning the Election Monitor has got dozens of complaints from citizens unable to vote because of invalid identity documents, even though they have had applied for issuance of new identity documents before than a month ago.

They have tried to vote using certificates that prove that the process of issuing new documents is in the course, but they were told to bring other documents such as a passport or driving license. We contacted the Central Election Commission, who confirmed that in order to confirm the identity of voters the law recognizes only indicated identity documents and it is not possible to vote even with duly authenticated certificates. There was a case however that at the same polling station one person was allowed to vote without a relevant documents, while the other was forbidden, even though they had a confirmation of the process of issuing new documents.

For most citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina the amount of 40 KM — the costs of the issuance of passport, would be rather spent on basic needs. The question arises of is how many people were in this way prevented from the realization of their basic democratic rights. It is clear that all who possess neither a passport nor a driver’s license and have their ID card in the process of issuing, are unjustly deprived of their right to vote.

We urge the Central Election Commission to ensure the legitimacy of the electoral process by allowing to vote all voters whose documents are in the process of issuing. Most voters in this situation, have had submitted their request for new ID more than a month ago and should have already got it, because it is common practice to issue the document within 14 days. It is unacceptable that because of the slowness of the administration citizens are deprived of their fundamental civil right.

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