Printing house “Kiro Dandaro” who are officially printing the ballots for the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 11, on Saturday afternoon, printed 80,000 extra ballots to test the printing equipment , “Meta” has discovered from several sources who wish to remain anonymous.
According to some sources, the case was reported to the OSCE / ODIHR. “Meta” asked them about the case, however they said they could neither confirm nor deny the case because their mission in Skopje is to observe. All observations on the electoral process, they said, will be noted in the report that will be released after the elections.
Employees from the printing house “Kiro Dandaro” confirmed for “Meta” that the printing house are printing more ballots than necessary, however, the question remains whether they will be annulled or whether the serial numbers were different.
“A large number of ballots have been printed, which is not uncommon. Often more samples are printed to see if the font, colour and other technical characteristics are suitable. But still, the number of printed ballots is far greater than usual. The question is whether these ballots will be annulled, will be put in storage in order to record the fact that they were experimental and are printed with or without serial numbers”, says an employee from “Kiro Dandaro” who asked to remain anonymous.
The printing house “Kiro Dandaro”, however, refused to give us an official comment and any information, they directed us to the SEC.
“Since our company is not allowed to give statements on this topic, any information you may need ask the SEC”, stated the legal department of “Kiro Dandaro”.
The State Election Commission said they were not aware of such a case, and some members of the SEC told “Meta” that the whole process of printing ballots is conducted according to prescribed rules and principles.
Violeta Duma, a member of the SEC and the SDSM, told “Meta” she was not familiar with this case, but if true, it would be a terrible situation.
“The SEC conducts regular inspections at the “Kiro Dandaro” printing house. The whole process is under surveillance. This process has been conducted normally, within the deadlines, and with the highest security measures. There is no need for trial or experimental printing. Ballots are printed with a certain number. This i the first time I have heard such printing. Such a situation would be terrible if true, lets hope to God that it isn’t. But the “bombs” have shown us that when we thought that everything was as it should be, it actually was not”, said Duma.
The Vice President of the Commission, Rezep Prekopuca, declined to comment and directed us to
to the SEC spokesmen.
Member of the SEC and the DPA Bedredin Ibraimi said that such information is just speculation and that the printing of ballots began after the printing house was chosen by the SEC.
“This is not accurate information. We gave them a court order for printing, the deadline for printing the ballots began the day when we chose them for printing”, said Ibrahimi.
One former President of the SEC said that practice is the printing house to print sample ballots for checking technical specifications is normal, but it has always been just a few piece papers that are clearly marked, making it impossible to commit any wrongdoing or manipulations.