Several non-governmental organizations asked today the Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă to elaborate an emergency ordinance for the introduction of the Electronic System for Voting Monitoring and Prevention of Illegal Voting (SIMPV) for the Constitutional referendum on the 6th and 7th of October. We have also drew the attention to the many issues raised by the legislation referring to the organization of the referendum and the need to address these shortcomings in Parliament in order to meet international recommendations.
The text of the letter can be found below:
To Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă
The Government of Romania
To Liviu Dragnea
President of the Chamber of Deputies
To Mr. Călin Popescu Tăriceanu
President of the Senate
We ask for urgent action for a fairly organized referendum: the introduction of the Electronic System for Voting Monitoring and Prevention of Illegal Voting (SIMPV) used at the Parliamentary elections
The signatory organizations are warning about serious shortcomings of Law no. 3/2000 regarding the organization of the referendum, as the incoming national consultation will take place on the 6-7 October. The legislation in force is deficient and does not regulate in detail the procedures for organizing the referendum, including the formation of electoral bureaus, the referendum campaign, appeals, observation or transparency necessary to ensure public confidence in the process.
In this context, we consider that one of the main issues is the lack of the SIMPV, which was introduced for local (Law 115/2015) and parliamentary elections (Law 208 / 2015). These regulations are not covered by Law 3/2000. SIMPV is a system that has significantly contributed to increasing public confidence in electoral processes, and we believe that it is absolutely necessary to use it in circumstances where there are no other effective methods of verifying the voters in real time, nor for presenting essential information about the presence at referendum, voting on supplementary lists or using the special ballot box. The last two instruments generated significant public debate during the 2012 referendum and the presidential election in 2014, when there were suspicions of abusive use. Under current law, the situation of potential multiple votes should be verified by AEP (only if there is a complaint, with proof), which is totally counterproductive and would involve significant time, funds and staff resources. Useless verification should be prevented and data published in real time.
Thus, we call for the adoption of an emergency ordinance as soon as possible regulating the use of the SIMPV to organize the referendum, while ensuring a sufficient period of time for the Permanent Electoral Authority and the other institutions involved in the commissioning of the SIMPV to prepare the system and their staff in optimal conditions. We consider that the provisions on the video recording of voting counting procedures in polling stations and those relating to the organization of voting and observation under Law 208/2015 should be included.
We also argue that the organization of electoral processes and referenda can not be achieved exclusively by emergency regulations, therefore we are asking for the urgent debate in Parliament of Law 3/2000 and its amendment in order to meet international recommendations in the field, such as those included in the reports OSCE / ODIHR on Romania. We are also pointing out that a referendum or any other electoral process should not take place if the legislation regulating their organization (in this case Law 3/2000) is not coherent and does not allow for their organization under conditions of transparency, fairness and public trust.
Septimius Pârvu, Expert Forum
Asociaţia pentru Dezvoltare, Transparenţă şi Participare Publică “CIVICA” (CIVICA)
Centrul pentru Studiul Democrației
CENTRAS – Centrul de Asistenta pentru Organizatii Neguvernamentale
Centrul pentru Resurse Civice
Centrul pentru Inovare Publică
Centrul Român pentru Politici Europene
Centrul de Resurse pentru Participare Publică
Comunitatea Declic prin Tudor Bradatan, director executiv
Expert Forum (EFOR)
Geeks for Democracy
Grupul pentru Dialog Social
Mircea Kivu, Sociolog
Andrei Tiut, Politolog
Dan Grigore, Muzician
Mircea Dumitru, Profesor universitar
Monica Macovei, Europarlamentar
Vlad Zografi, Scriitor
Andrei Cornea, Scriitor
Radu Vancu, Scriitor
Brandusa Palade, Profesor universitar
Smaranda Vultur, Scriitoare
Catalin Cioaba, profesor universitar