The ruling party members believe the changes in the law are essential because with the changes in the law proposed by the government people will be allowed to vote with identification cards and a total of 182,000 people in Armenia will have an opportunity to vote in the referendum.
The voting with ID cards may lead to cases of double voting, the opposition and civil society representatives believe. The plastic ID cards cannot be marked with a seal as it is possible with biometric passports.
Sahakyan described the opposition’s and rights defenders’ criticism that voting with ID cards may make double voting possible as false speculations. “The Election Code defines efficient control mechanisms. Thus, to speak about double voting or other possible violations is wrong. Opposition politicians are simply trying to express themselves,” said Sahakyan.
The Media Center hosted a discussion on the bill on voting with ID cards was adopted. The speakers included: Heriknaz Tigranyan, legal adviser at the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center and Hovhannes Sahakyan, Chairman at the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly.
Heriknaz Tigranyan disagreed with the lawmaker and added that it is suspicious the authorities keep the spotlight on the issue right now even though the issue as such emerged two years ago.
“If a person who has both an ID card and old sample passport comes to the polling station, his ID card cannot be marked with a seal and he can then vote with the passport,” said Tigranyan.
Though the Parliament has decided to allow citizens to vote with ID cards, the lawmakers continue discussing possible control mechanisms. “We are still in the discussion phase and various proposals are possible to be accepted,” Sahakyan said.
Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordiantor