This week the debate in Parliament over making addenda in the Election Code and in the law on Identity Cards ahead of the December 6 constitutional referendum has given rise to new concerns among opposition parties that believe that identification cards are a loophole for multiple voting because it will not be possible to put stamps on ID cards like in passports which is done to prove that a person has already voted. With the changes in the law proposed by the government people will be allowed to vote with identification cards. A total of 500,000 people in Armenia have ID cards, of whom 176 are without passports. The National Assembly has already rejected the draft law of parliamentarian Tigran Urikhanyan, who offered not only to give those half a million people, who have ID cards, a chance to vote, but also through special devices to prevent possible multiple voting. The Republicans’ refusal is grounded by the fact that it would not be technically possible to purchase and install the appropriate equipment by the time the referendum is to be held.
Artsvik Minasyan, an MP from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation faction, said that once a provision, which allowed for voting with ID cards, was removed from the Electoral Code, just because there were no controlling mechanisms, whereas now they believe that only an identification card, without any additional thing, is sufficient to restore public confidence.
MPs from the Orinats Yerkir party believe that the voting with identification cards will put into question the results of the December 6 constitutional referendum. They suggest issuing paper-based passports to 176,000 people.
According to Heghine Bisharyan, head of the Orinats Yerkir parliamentary faction, the Republican Party of Armenia’s draft law already casts doubt on the whole electoral process.