2010 Mission to Poland (Presidential Election, 1st round)

Participants of the ‘Election Observation: Theory and Practice” project had got an opportunity to observe the 1st round of the Presidential Election in Poland. The group of 31 observers was working during the Election Day on the invitation of the National Election Commission of Poland. The team monitored the election process as well as observed the procedure of the opening of polling stations and the counting of votes. The representatives of the mission visited 171 polling stations in Bialystok and Podlaskie area.

The mission estimated the elections were held in accordance with international principles and national legislation. Participants had noted that almost at all stations there were at least three commission members present at the time at polling places, the election board members usually were friendly, cordial and open to questions. The mission noted it as a good tendency that in Poland there is no early voting which is broadly used in Belarus.

In addition, in the statement on the results of the observation of the 1st round of the elections participants drawn their attention to certain political culture of voters demonstrated by the high level of awareness of the way to cross the ballot with an “x” sign – which proves a certain culture is established and voters don't make mistakes with that. The presence of two seals on the ballot excluded possible manipulations with ballots. The сommission members were mostly aware of the procedures and followed them. It is also stated that the counting of votes was transparent and fair and everybody could see each ballot.

The mission was organized in the framework of the project “Election Observation: Theory and Practice” implemented in partnership by four organizations: the United Centre of Initiatives for Belarus (JuBIC), Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC), European Humanities University (EHU) and Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius (HRH). The participants of previous project missions observed elections in Norway, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus.