On Sunday, 25 October, elections of deputies to councils of all levels from communities – deputies of village, settlement, city councils, as well as village, settlement and city mayors – are held throughout Ukraine, except for the annexed Crimea and the occupied districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

For the first time, voting took place in accordance with the new Electoral Code – the proportional system with open lists.

The coronavirus pandemic also influenced the elections: Ukrainians come to the polling station not only in protective masks, but also with their pens. Such recommendations were provided by the Government of Ukraine.

On the eve of the vote, on the “day of silence,” the National Police launched 48 criminal proceedings. In total, law enforcement officers received 1,041 allegations and reports of violations. 128 protocols on violation of election legislation were drawn up.

Currently, observers recorded only minor violations of the election process: early voting and lack of ballot boxes and booths. Commission members were not provided with protective masks and gloves, and some polling stations did not open on time.

As the Head of the National Police Ihor Klymenko said during the briefing, as of 3 p.m., no violations have been registered that could affect the voting results. The election process is going smoothly.

So far, law enforcement officers have registered about 2,500 allegations of violations, drawn up 63 reports, most of them related to damage of the ballot. In addition, according to Klymenko, by the middle of the day, eight cases of reports of “mining” the polling stations were recorded. The process of expressing the will of the citizens did not stop at them. All the messages turned out to be fakes.

To ensure security on election day, the Ministry of the Internal Affairs deployed all available forces and equipment, including aircraft – planes and helicopters – to reach the most remote polling stations quickly, if necessary.

According to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, as of 1 p.m., voter turnout was the highest in Odesa oblast (excluding Odesa) – 26%, and the lowest – in Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts – 14%. In only three oblasts did the turnout exceed 20%.

The CEC must announce the final results of the vote not later than 6 November.

An informal poll initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky is taking place in parallel with the election process in Ukraine. Anyone can answer 5 questions. To do this, the voter is offered a questionnaire at the exit of the polling station, after filling it out, people throw papers in the polling box.

According to OPORA, as of 3:39 p.m., about 55% of polling stations are polling the president’s questionnaire. The error of the study is 4%. The largest number of polling stations is covered in the South – 78.65%, the smallest in the West – 37.81%, in the Center – 55.79%, in the East – 56.87%.

Activists and journalists report that in some cases, volunteers involved in the survey allow one person to fill out several questionnaires at once. The forms of the “all-Ukrainian poll” themselves have no protection. Experts have repeatedly stressed that the event initiated by the President is an attempt to mobilise their voters, and the results of the poll will not have any legal consequences.

Bohdan Marusyak

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