The celebration of Global Elections Day was held in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the fifth time. The Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrated the Global Elections Day on the 4th February 2010 by organizing a conference on this occasion. The initiative was very successful due to interesting speeches given by Mrs. Irena Hadžiabdić, (BiH CEC’s President), Ambassador Valentin Inzko (High Representative and Special EU representative) and Ambassador Garry D. Robins (Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH) as well as participation of numerous domestic and international guests.
The Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina is also planning to suggest inclusion of the GED on the holiday list of the UN.
Celebration of the Global Elections Day in Latvia took place on the 4th February 2010 in Riga. The Central Electoral Commission of Latvia organized a seminar entitled “Polling station commissions in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: Formation, activity, problems and solutions”.
The speakers at the Seminar were the Heads of the Electoral Management Bodies (EMB) of the three Baltic states. Mr. Arnis Cimdars (Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Latvia), Mr. Zenonas Vaigauskas (Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission of Lithuania) and Mr. Heiki Sibul (Chairman of the Estonian National Electoral Committee) shared the experience in the formation, activity and topical problems of polling stations in their countries. As well, high officials of the above-mentioned EMB and representatives of the Election Commissions of the biggest Latvian cities and counties took part in the Seminar.
The Seminar discussion focused on the newest tendencies in election administration and some conclusions after the recent elections in each country. The meeting was very valuable for preparing the upcoming parliamentary elections in Latvia in October 2010.
The State Election Commission of the Republic of Macedonia organized an Open SEC Day and hosted a reception to celebrate the Global Elections Day on the 4th February 2010.
The Open State Election Commission Day will start at noon. Young voters, who just came of age, visited the premises of the SEC. Moreover they had the opportunity to participate in a presentation concerning the realization of the voters' rights.
Afterwards, at 1:00 p.m., the State Election Commissio hosted a cocktail party where the president of the SEC, Mr. Aleksandar Novakoski, made a short occasional speech. The list of invited guests was wide, including Diplomatic chorus, representatives of the political parties, representatives of the media as well as representatives of the state and international institutions which cooperated with the SEC.
In order to mark the celebration of the Global Elections Day this year, the Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA) has organized a series of events in several cities in Romania.
Actions commenced by holding meetings with high school students in classes XI-XII. The meetings held under the slogan: „I’m major, I vote!” took place in:
• Pedagogical Highschool of Galaţi –January 26th
• German Highschool of Bucharest –January 28th
• Gheorghe Şincai Highschool of Cluj –January 28th
During the meetings informative materials on Global Elections Day have been presented concerning the significance of elections in consolidating the democracy as well as importance of voting rights. Taking this opportunity, portal primulvot.ro has also been promoted. The portal has been launched by the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania and is aimed at young voters, who will vote for the first time. On this occasion, in the NEWS section, two new contests for young voters were launched:
• A photography contest entitled „My first vote”
• An essay contest with an electoral theme.
As a closing event of the Global Elections Day celebration, at the Permanent Electoral Authority main office, will be organized a debate entitled „Involving young people in the course of the electoral process”. Young politicians, students as well as electoral officials have been invited on this occasion to participate in the event.
As a way of celebrating the Global Elections Day in Poland, The National Electoral Commission together with Centre of Electoral Studies at the Faculty of Law and Administration at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, organized a lecture in the name of prof. Wacław Komarnicki, entitled “Functions of elections and the size of constituencies”. The lecture took place on the 4th February and was delivered by prof. Krzysztof Skotnicki from the University of Lodz.
Members and the Secretary of the National Electoral Commission, representatives of the University authorities in Toruń, academic teachers, representatives of the local electoral bodies and Faculty of Law students took part in this event.
It has been agreed on the conference that the Global Election Day will be celebrated each year in Toruń together with academic conferences.
At the same day Students’ Scientific Association organized a meeting for school children with a group of lawyers, political scientist and sociologists, they were discussing issues connected with elections. Results of the survey conducted among young people concerning a level of electoral awareness was also discussed during this meeting. Secretary of the National Electoral Commission took part in this meeting as well.
Initiatives and actions undertaken by the National Electoral Commission and the Election Study Center serve the dissemination of knowledge about electoral issues as well as development and strengthening the democratic citizenship.
Following the tradition, the ACEEEO Secretariat organized events to celebrate the Global Elections Day.
On the 4th February 2010, ACEEEO Secretariat gave a reception on the occasion of the annual partnership meeting. On this occasion speeches were made by:
· Dr. Zoltán Tóth, Secretary General of the ACEEEO;
· Mr. Rudolf Virág, Head of the National Election Office, State Secretary;
· Mrs. Emília Rytkó, Former President of the National Election Office;
· Mr. Péter Szigeti, President of the National Election Committee;
· Ms. Anna Sólyom, Project Manager, ACEEEO – “Voters’ Compass 2010”;
· Mr. István Áhiy, Junior Project Manager, ACEEEO – “First Time Voters in the Parliament”.
As a habit, The Secretariat invites 2-3 secondary schools’ classes (17 and 18 years old youngsters) to participate in round table discussion. This year the event took place on the 5th February 2010 in the premises of the Parliament.
During the first part of the meeting, students listened to the speeches made by officials from different scenes of elections. The speeches concerned the importance of elections and citizens rights. Afterwards, the participants had a possibility to put questions to our Speakers. In the second part of the event students were given information about Voter’s Compass http://www.magyarorszagvalaszt.hu/, website launched by the ACEEEO. Voter’s Compass has a form of a test, which will recommend the citizens their political orientation compared to the orientation of the fractions and parties. Subsequently, the students participated in a quiz concerning their knowledge on democracy and elections.
On the 4th of February Central Electoral Commission has celebrated for the third consecutive year the Global Elections Day. This year, the commission has deployed a big program of activities dedicated to this day from the 1st till the 4th of February. In order to organize them, CEC has collaborated with Ministry of Education, National Broadcasting Company, Parliament of the Youths and UNDP Moldova. Central Electoral Commission of Moldova launched following initiatives:
On the initiative of the CEC Moldova, national TV and Radio Company has broadcasted live four programs with the participation of the CEC members, Parliament of the Youths and NGO’s representatives. Main topics discussed were: “The importance of participation of the young people in elections”; “The history of the electoral processes from the Republic of Moldova, Informational Technologies in the electoral process”, “The activity of the Central Electoral Commission from Moldova” etc.
With the help of the Ministry of Education, in more than 50 universities and colleges in the Republic of Moldova, were deployed different thematic activities (conferences, seminars, workshops, book exhibitions and debates) with the participation of CEC members, members of the Parliament, professors, political parties and NGO’s representatives. They have spoken about various subjects: “The process of consolidation of the democracy around the world”, “Financing of the electoral campaign of the political parties, Electoral legislation, The right to vote and to be elected”, etc.
The commission has elaborated several training and educational materials (Power Point presentations on the Global Elections Day, a guide for it, and other relevant information) in order to help the teachers to conduct the above-mentioned events. In the proposed materials they could find answers to the most frequent questions regarding the participation of the citizens in elections and the organization of the electoral process from the Republic of Moldova.
Another activity was the simulation of a referendum in a lyceum from Chisinau for 600 students aged 16-18 years old. In order to organize this event, the Central Electoral Commission has trained 9 members for the Precinct Electoral Bureau and 6 observers. The voting was done with the Identity Card according to the electoral list prepared by the lyceum administration.
In order to conduct this referendum, the CEC has prepared for the students all the necessary materials and equipment: real ballot boxes, stamps, voting booths, ballots, ID’s and other necessary documentation. All the necessary procedures were respected according to the electoral legislation. Two “Parties”, constituted from pupils, have disseminated their informative materials and have participated in a public debate in order to state “FOR” or “AGAINST” the referendum question.
All the mentioned activities were covered by mass-media.