In Lithuania, Roma Blocked from Voting in Presidential Election After Non-Delivery of Voter Certificates
10 May 2003
On January 8, 2003, Ms Egle Kučinskaite, an activist engaged in Romani issues in Lithuania, informed the ERRC that Roma living in the Kirtimai Romani settlement in the Lithuania capital of Vilnius did not receive their voter certificates in the second round of the Presidential election, held on December 31, 2002, and January 2-3, 2003. In accordance with the Lithuanian Law on Presidential Elections, the electoral committee of each polling district is responsible for the distribution of voter certificates, which, at the time of voting, the voter must hand in at the polling station as a proof of identity. On January 30, 2003, Mr Josif Tyčina of the Vilnius-based Romani organisation Roma Mission confirmed that over five hundred Roma from the settlement were unable to vote in the election because they did not have the certificates. Roma from the settlement reportedly filed a complaint with the Elections Committee, but as of January 30, 2003, had not yet received a response to their complaint.
(ERRC, Roma Mission)