Za’Lart – Report on Citizens’ Perception on Albania’s Electoral Campaign (May 21st –June 21st)
Based on data collected by http://ZaLart.al
In the run-up to Sunday’s parliamentary elections, apart from the mainstream media, the campaign is being monitored also by a citizen’s journalism project, which crowdsources incidents and infractions based on submission by Albanian voters.
The ZaLart.al (Raised Voice) project gives active citizens the opportunity to report through the web or mobile applications in android cell-phones, incidents and infractions in the electoral process, which they witness first-hand.
In the first phase of the campaign for the June 23, parliamentary elections citizens have filed reports under different categories proposed in the platform. More specifically five-to-eight reports have been received everyday from different regions of the country. After every citizen’s submission to the platform stands an ad-hoc editorial room, which verifies the objectivity of the reports. The reports that are identified as true are marked as such. Currently, from 130 citizens’ reports of electoral campaign problems, 60 per cent of these reports have been identified as true, while the rest is under review.
During the electoral campaign the infractions most reported by citizen have been under the category of Misuse of Public Institutions, with 38 reports. Damages to Electoral Materials or Offices and the Use of Children in the Electoral Campaign are also two categories that have received frequent reports. Similar citizens have filed reports highlighting Problems with the Electoral Lists and Unethical Electoral Speech. During the closing phase of the electoral campaign reports of Vote-buying, and the Breach of the Right to Vote and the Anonymity of the Ballot, has increased.
In regard to these two categories the submissions come mainly from the areas of Fier, and Elbasan The more troubling reports regard pressure or attempts to buy votes from socially vulnerable groups, like people living in informal areas or poor Roma communities.
Citizen reporters have filed only two cases of Misuse of the State Police for the campaign and one case of the Unbalanced Media Coverage.
Misuse of Public Institutions 38
Other Problems in the Campaign 36
Damages to Electoral Materials or Offices 17
Use of Children in the Electoral Campaign 13
Unethical Electoral Speech 9
Problems with Electoral Commissions 4
Breach of the Right to Vote and the Anonymity of the Ballot 6
Misuse of the State Police 4
Unbalanced Media Coverage 3
We call on all Albanian citizens to continue reporting incidents during the electoral campaign, on Election Day and the counting process until the election results are declared at ZaLart.al. Reports can be easily filed through the web or mobile phone applications. We would particularly encourage residents of peripheral areas, where there is no presence of the mainstream media or international observers, to make use of mobile internet on their cell-phones and file reports on incidents they witness.
We also would like to thank the representatives of the traditional media for the attention they have paid to the problems reported by citizens and would like to inform that from June 22-25 the ad-hoc editorial room of ZaLart will be posted in the premises of the Sheraton Hotel, in Tirana in order to report the perception of the citizens on the poll in real-time.
Aranita BRAHAJ 068 20 01 718
Matilda DURI 069 4041 721