Old Electoral Roll Problems Plague Macedonia Referendum

Fictive voters registered at fake addresses, voters registered at more than one address and those who are unjustly removed from the electoral roll. These are just some of the many flaws that civic associations say are still contained in the voters list ahead of the historic referendum.

The NGO Civil-Center for Freedom, which is as the forefront of Macedonia's election monitoring processes, reported of dozens of citizens who approached them in the past few days, complaining of variety of problems, including reappearance of fake voter at their addresses.

"In one case, a citizen wrote to us saying that he immediately contacted the Electoral Commission, DIK, to report several 'uninvited guests' at his address", Civil wrote in a press release, saying that these problems are still not properly addressed.

"The DIK, as in the previous election processes, told him to call the Interior Ministry, MVR. The MVR, on the other hand, are referring them back to the State Election Commission, and this goes on. The voters are hearing the same story: someone else is always responsible".

The controversy surrounding the electoral roll, which, same as at previous elections, contains around 1.8 million voters, is all but new.

The OSCE, which has monitored Macedonian elections in the past, has described it as unusually large for a country of just over 2 million people, according to the latest headcount carried out in 2002 which is now largely outdated.

Before the change in power in 2017, the now ruling Social Democrats were harshly accusing the now opposition VMRO DPMNE party of deliberately bloating the electoral roll in order to rig past elections.

But after several check-ups of the roll conducted in 2015 and 2016 in order...

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