FYR Macedonia tests "One voter, One Ballot" initiative

23 Mar 2009

Skopje –
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has voted in presidential and local elections seen as essential for the country’s accession to European Union and NATO membership.

The elections took place peacefully, complying with international standards. In the process, the UNDP-supported "One Voter, One Ballot" principle was put to the test, with apparently mixed results.

The “One Voter, One Ballot" principle has aimed to mitigate the impact of “proxy” and family voting, where one member of a family, often the male head of the household, votes for the entire family. The initiative particularly targets youth and women, mostly in rural areas, and other groups who have been disenfranchised in the past.

Early returns indicated some level of continued proxy and family voting in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on March 22, despite campaigns by international and national organizations to encourage members of these groups to vote.
 
In the run-up to the elections, UNDP organized massive voter education efforts and trained electoral officials. Ambassadors and representatives from several NGOs took place in roundtable discussions with the media to support the initiative.

The final results of the "One Voter, One Ballot" effort will be communicated after the 5 April runoff of this year’s presidential election.