Bogotá, May 29, 2022. The Electoral Observation Mission – MOE of the civil society of Colombia, delivers to the authorities, press, organizations and interested citizens, the first observation report, corresponding to the opening of the electoral day of the elections to the Presidency of the Republic, First Round 2022. This report includes the reports of the 3,539 electoral observers deployed in 467 municipalities, as well as in 46 consulates in 19 countries.
This balance collects what was observed from 7:00 am – 11:00 am.
Among the highlights are:
1. ABOUT THE OBSERVATION MISSION
The Electoral Observation Mission was deployed with 33 Regional Coordinators located in 31 states of Colombia, in more than 400 municipalities. Until 11 a.m., MOE has collected the following information regarding the installation and opening of the polling stations:
- 97 % of the observation team were allowed to observe the polling stations.
- In 13% of the polling stations observed, voting jurors were identified wearing a campaign badge. This affects impartiality and denotes the lack of control by the authorities in these posts.
- In 22.8% of the tables observed, 6 jurors per table, as established by law, were not present.
- Despite the importance of having electoral witnesses throughout the day, at the time of the installation of the polling stations it could be observed that, in 22% of the polling stations witnesses were not present.
- 70% of the polling stations were presided over by women.
- In 65% of the polling stations observed, no informative or pedagogical pieces were observed on the guarantees of transgender voters.
- In 71% of the polling stations observed, public servants were observed providing guidance or helping people with visual, hearing, physical or intellectual disabilities. However, in 41% of the posts, no special electoral material was identified for this population.
- In 62% of the tables observed (245 municipalities in 24 departments) biometric identification machines were not installed. Additionally, delays in biometric validation were reported in: Ibague, Tolima; Tunja, Boyacá, Cali and Valle del Cauca.
- Political organizations reported the following problems with the accreditation review to MOE: (1) In the case of the Centro Esperanza Coalition Campaign in Cartagena, Bolívar, 200 witnesses were registered and only 4 credentials were registered. (2) The campaign of the Colombia Justa Libres Party registered 5,191 electoral witnesses and only 3,512 have been accredited. Likewise, the campaign pointed out that, in the municipality of Cali, Valle del Cauca, in the voting station Polideportivo Los Guaduales, the Police only allowed the entry of witnesses of the Pacto Histórico and not those of Colombia Justa y Libre. (3) The Pacto Histórico campaign reported that 8,000 witnesses who had been accredited for the congressional elections were not accredited in this election, arguing inconsistencies in identification. Situation concentrated in the Department of Antioquia.
2. ELECTORAL IRREGULARITIES
The Electoral Observation Mission – MOE has made available to citizens the www.pilasconelvoto.com platform and the WhatsApp line 315 266 19 69 to report any type of irregularity or electoral crime.
Through these channels the MOE has received between 12:01 am and 11:00 am on May 29 a total of 119 reports on possible irregularities and electoral crimes in 48 municipalities, corresponding to 22 states and Bogotá. The main types of electoral irregularities reported are:
- Election witnesses, problems with credentials
15 reports were received in which electoral witnesses said they had problems in the accreditation process, which is why they have had problems entering the polling stations. This was evident in the municipalities of Guarne, Medellín, and Remedios Yondó in Antioquia, as well as in Cali in Valle del Cauca and Bogotá.
- Irregularities affecting the freedom to vote.
Citizens have reported a total of 28 irregularities that may affect freedom in the exercise of voting in 9 departments of the country and Bogotá. Most of these reports have been recorded in Valle del Cauca, Bogotá, and in the departments of Antioquia, Atlántico, Caldas, Norte de Santander and Sucre.
- The main behaviors reported are:
Vote buying (17 reports) through direct delivery of cash and mobilization of voters to the polling stations.
Likewise, pressures from private companies to vote for a certain candidate are reported (13 reports), with some cases in which limitations or restrictions are presented to the possibility of going out to vote by employers.
- Irregularities in campaign publicity
Despite the ban on campaign advertising on election day, MOE has registered a total of 6 irregularities related to electoral propaganda, mainly in the cities of Barrancabermeja, Santander; Medellín, Bello and Peñol in Antioquia; Bogotá; Leticia, Amazonas; Valledupar, Cesar; Villavicencio, Meta and Manizales, Caldas. These reports mainly refer to political propaganda around polling stations and receiving text messages or calls from campaigns and candidacies without authorization affecting the protection of personal data.
MOE received complaints about demonstrations and publicity at the entrance of consulates in some U.S. cities. While the ban on advertising around polling stations is a national rule that has no legal effect on other countries, we call on campaigns and political parties to respect democratic principles wherever Colombian citizens exercise their right to vote.
- Consulate Posts in Venezuela – Colombia border
In the border area with Venezuela in the municipalities of Cúcuta and Villa del Rosario, the National Guard of Venezuela prevented the passage of Colombians through both the Simón Bolívar Bridge and the Francisco de Paula Santander Bridge to exercise their right to vote in Colombian territory. Although the situation was reported as controlled in Colombian territory by the authorities in the Operating Control Station (PMU – Puesto de Mando Unificado in Spanish), there were attempts at riots by Colombian citizens on the Venezuelan side of the border to be able to pass into national territory.
3. OBSERVATION WITH DIFFERENTIAL APPROACHES
For the first time in a presidential election, MOE conducts an observation with differential approaches focused on trans people (56 observers) and people with disabilities (67 observers).
In the process of observing the individual voting experience of trans observers, they reported:
- No trans observer has been denied the right to vote.
- 22% of trans observers were irregularly being requisitioned.
- 12% of trans observers reported having suffered discriminatory comments about their gender expression or identity by a public authority or official at the polling station.
During the observation exercise with people with disabilities, all observers were able to enter the voting stations without any restriction, and they are monitoring the provisions that guarantee their right to vote on equal terms and without any discrimination in different voting stations in Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. So far, normality is reported in the observation exercise with the disability approach.
4. PUBLIC SECURITY EVENTS
Even though the day has generally passed peacefully, MOE reports the following incidents during the day:
Two improvised explosive devices were found in Meta and Caquetá, these were detonated by the Army in a controlled manner, without causing casualties. The first of the explosive devices was located 100 meters from the Centro Poblado La Catalina polling station in La Macarena, Meta. The second was found in Cartagena del Chairá, Caquetá, not generating any effect on the electoral process. In the Vereda La Paz, El Retorno, Guaviare, an explosive charge was activated leaving one soldier injured. Yesterday, and at the request of the community, the voting station was transferred from the Mazamorrero village in Santander de Quilichao to the El Palmar village for security reasons. Since weeks before, there has been an alert about the displacement of approximately 500 people in this village due to armed fighting between illegal armed groups.
5. EFFECTS OF THE ELECTIONS BY WINTER WAVE
As a result of the climatic effects presented in the country during the last days, 12 polling stations were moved in 9 departments.
During Election Day:
- The posts of Saunde Curay and Tabacal, Tumaco, were moved by heavy rains.
- The polling station of La Vorágine, Arauquita, Arauca was also moved due to climatic affectations.
On previous days:
- In the municipality of Tibacuy, Norte de Santander, the voting station of the Municipal center passed to the I.E.D Commercial Technician of Tibacuy.
- The voting station of I.E.D Pueblo Nuevo, in the municipality of Nilo, Cundinamarca, was transferred to the voting station of the Centro Poblado, Pueblo Nuevo.
- En San José de Guaviare, Guaviare, the voting station of the I.E. El Edén, moved to the village of Bocas de Agua Bonita.
- In Ocaña, Norte de Santander, the Adolfo Milanés school voting station was moved to the Milanés neighborhood.
- The voting station t of Bocas de San Antonio, in Magangué, Bolívar, was moved to the corregimiento de Guazo, due to flooding.
- In Sucre, the voting stations of Las Chispas, San Benito Abad and of El Humo, Guaranda were moved because floods.
- Due to rains, the voting station of the San Antonio School in Rionegro, Antioquia, was also moved.
Additionally, today 9 polling stations have presented delays in their opening due to climate issues:
- At the La Cristalina polling station, Puerto Berrío, Antioquia, the floods did not allow the entry of voting jurors in the early hours of the morning due to the growth of the ravine. Situation that was controlled.
- At several rural polling stations in Yondó, Antioquia, the electoral system and staff were unable to enter the polling station on time due to road problems. Access that has been solved.
- In Chocó, at the Charco polling stations in Sipí, they have been affected by the rains. So far, neither the electoral material nor the jurors have been able to enter,the delivery by helicopter of the electoral material is being evaluated .
- In Nóvita, Chocó, the polling stations of El Cajón and Torrá were delayed in their opening by the harsh winter.
- The polling stations of Monguí and Mongui Pulichamana in rural Riohacha, Guajira, have not started the election day due to the growth and overflow of the Ranchería River.
- In San Benito Abad, Sucre, the town of Cuiva, its opening was delayed by the growing river stream. Authorities installed a temporary bridge to enable access and open the voting station.
– More information
Mónica Acosta López, Communication Officer. 312 320 37 792022.05.29.-Press-Release-1-ENG
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