16,000 precinct election commission members trained with OSCE, EU support

A nation-wide training programme for precinct election commissioners that is being conducted with OSCE and EU support ahead of the upcoming presidential election was presented today in Yerevan.

The training programme started on 28 January and is being implemented throughout the country with the help of more than 40 trainers. It aims to prepare some 16,000 election officials to effectively administer the 18 February presidential election. The programme focuses on the processing of voters and vote counting procedures, proper use of ink in voter identification and ballot validation, and the use of magnifying lenses to assist visually impaired voters.

“Elections commissioners have an essential role to play in ensuring the good conduct of elections. I hope that this training programme will enable them to meet the challenges of the upcoming election,” said Ambassador Andrey Sorokin, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

“Free and fair elections are fundamental for democracy. The European Union, therefore, expects Armenia to ensure that the upcoming presidential elections are held in line with international standards,” said the Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea. He also noted that the training workshops supported by the EU have helped election commissioners improve and update their skills.

Election officials also received reference materials and manuals, information posters to be displayed at polling stations, copies of the new election code and a compendium of Central Electoral Commission decisions.

The training programme is organized by the Armenian Central Electoral Commission and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The US Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored the preparatory course for the trainers for the trainers and the British Embassy in Yerevan donated magnifiers for the visually impaired.
The training is part of a 1.7 million euro project on strengthening electoral processes in Armenia in line with international standards, implemented by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and financed by the EU.

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