The Ethiopian Electoral and Political Parties /DRAFT/ Proclamation

Chapter Five
Vote Counting and Announcement of Results

57. Location of Vote Counting
1.Vote counting of any election shall take place at the polling station.
2.Notwithstanding the provisions of sub article (1) above, the vote counting shall take place at the secretariat of the constituency, where due to disruption of security or other similar compelling reason, such a request is made to the constituency by the electoral officer of the polling station and the request is granted by the constituency or its electoral officer.
3.The vote counting to be conducted at the secretariat of a constituency in accordance with sub article (2) above, shall be made in the presence of representatives of candidates of the polling station, members of the Grievance Hearing Committee elected by the public and observers.
4.The Board may issue a directive to determine the implementation of this Article.
58. Procedures for Vote Counting
1.Upon the closure of polls the chief electoral officer of the polling stations shall, in the presence of candidates’ representatives, members of the Grievance Hearing Committee elected by the public and observers:
2.record the number of voters who have cast their votes on that day; and
3.count and record the number of invalid and unused ballot papers.
4.After the bodies indicated in sub article (1) above have ascertained that the ballot box has not been opened, the seals are in the same condition as they were prior to voting started that the ballot box has not been broken, damaged or tampered with , and the same has been minuted be the seal shall be broken and the ballot box shall be opened; and the contents emptied. It shall be ascertained that the ballot box is empty.
5.Where the election is to different councils, after the votes given to each council are sorted, the votes for one council shall be counted and those for each candidate registered; and therefrom, the same procedure shall be followed for the other council.
6.If an election officer, a political party or representative of an independent candidate submits a complaint alleging flawed counting process, the Polling Station Grievance Hearing Committee has to investigate and decide on the matter immediately or no later than twelve hours. Based on the decision of the Grievance Hearing Committee of the polling station or the constituency, the voting process may be discontinued or stopped or where necessary, re-counted, until the investigation of the counting process is completed.
59. Invalid Votes
1. A vote shall be deemed invalid for one of the following reasons:
a. if it identifies the voter by name;
b. if it contains marking for more candidates to the council than the voter is allowed to makes ;
c. if it is blank;
d. it does not clearly indicate the choice of the voter;
e. where, the ballot paper is not legal or issued by the polling station.
2. Ballot papers invalidated in accordance with sub-article (1) above shall be marked “INVALID” on back, counted separately and sealed.
60. Conclusion of Vote Counting
Upon conclusion of vote counting at a polling station:
1.electoral officers, election observers and representatives of candidates present shall ascertain that the voting and counting process and the results thereof are valid by signing on the minutes and form designated for this purpose. However, any representative of a candidate who has complaints regarding the process and results may register his complaints on the form and affix his signature thereto.
2.The votes counted shall be sealed and immediately sent to the constituency together with the results confirmation form, minutes and the form for announcing election results that have been signed in accordance with sub-article (1).
3.A copy of the form confirming the election results shall be issued immediately to the representative of a candidate who has signed the form.
61. Announcement of Results
1.Results of the vote counting conducted at a polling station shall be posted on a notice board of the polling station within an hour after the conclusion of ballot indicating the number of voters registered in the polling station and of those who cast their vote; the number of used, unused and spoiled ballot papers; and the number of votes received by each candidate.
2.Upon receiving the results of the elections to the House of peoples Representatives and regional councils from each polling station, constituency electoral officers of constituencies shall, in the presence of candidates or their representatives, add up and announce the elections results to the public within five of the conclusion of ballots unless prevented by circumstances that are evidently beyond their control.
3.Where two candidates receive equal number of votes and the constituency electoral secretariat is unable to determine the winner, a runoff shall be conducted only between the candidates who have received equal number of votes at a later date to be determined by the Board.
4.The electoral officers of a constituency, concerning the results they announced in accordance with sub article (2) above shall:
a. issue a copy of result confirmation form to candidates or their representatives
b. fill in the result in the form provided for the purpose and send a copy to the Secretariat of the Board and to electoral branch offices at every level.
5.The Board, until it receives all results from each constituency, may announce provisional results from constituencies for elections to House of Peoples’ Representatives and state councils, at its Secretariat. The Board shall announce the provisional election results where the final official results have not been determined within 10 days as per Article 62 of this Proclamation.
6.The ballot papers cast in each constituencies should be sealed and transported to and stored at the nearest Board office or regional board secretariat. The Board shall issue a directive regarding the storage and destruction of ballot papers after elections.
62. Official Declaration
1.Upon the conclusion of election and collection of the necessary information, the Board , in accordance with the timetable it fixed, issue within 10 days after the election day and unless prevented by circumstances that are evidently beyond its control, shall make an official declaration containing the following particulars:
a. The number of registered voters;
b. The number of voters that have cast their vote;
c. The percentage of registered voters that have cast their votes and of those that
have not;
d. The list of elected candidates and their respective constituency;
e. The list of winner political organizations and independent candidates as well as
the number of seats they won for each council; and
f. The number of used, unused and invalid ballot papers and the total votes each
candidate received in each polling station and other relevant information.
2.Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-article (1) above, where there are complaints regarding election results announced at constituency level that compel the delay in announcing the final results, such announcement may be delayed for 20 days.

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