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Georgian Bar Association Leadership Continues to Work on the Reform of Election Rules and Regulations with USAID/PROLoG Experts

29 January 2021 Georgian Bar Association Leadership Continues to Work on the Reform of Election Rules and Regulations with USAID/PROLoG Experts

On January 28, 2021 the Georgian Bar Association Chairman David Asatiani, Executive Director Giorgi Tshekhani, Head of Administration Salome Tkeshelashvili and Head of Analytical Department Tamta Devdariani had a second online meeting with USAID/PROLoG Experts Jay B, Myerson and John Hardin Young to discuss election systems of bar associations.

The experts went through the GBA General Meeting election process step by step to identify areas for change and improvement. In addition to ballot counting, security, and the role and expertise of the vote counting commission were discussed. Executive Director Giorgi Tshekhani gave an overview of the Election Day and ballot counting process. He identified the most problematic issue as ballot counting by the vote counting commission, due to the lack of expertise among membership, which is composed of practicing lawyers and members of the GBA elected on Election Day, without any prior training.

The experts discussed the opportunity of having support staff for the vote counting commission, borrowing expertise from the Central Election Commission (CEC), outsourcing vote counting to the CEC and assigning the GBA vote counting commission to supervise the process. In addition, the experts discussed the use of optical scanners for vote counting, which was welcomed by the GBA management. GBA asked the experts to elaborate on optical scanners and provide detailed procedures for their use. In addition, GBA said that they will communicate with the National Assessment and Examination Center to find out about the possibility of use of their scanner machines for vote counting.

At the end of the meeting it was agreed that, with the experts’ assistance, GBA has to be able to establish an election system which ensures the independence of GBA, more efficient procedures and a system that allows for audit and re-counting of votes. It was agreed to organize a third and final meeting in mid-February.

USAID
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