According to the BiH Election Law, an active voter is a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina who is registered in the Central Voters Register and who has exercised the right to vote (i.e. the active voting right).
A citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina who has the right to vote and resides abroad under the refugee status.
Authorized representative of a political subjectMeans a person authorized to represent political party, who is registered in the court registry, independent candidate, person authorized by all presidents of political party members of the coalition and person authorized by all independent candidates - members of the list of independent candidates.
Ballot boxTranslucent box with narrow opening at the top in which all ballots issued to the voters are put until polling stations are closed and votes counted.
Sheets of paper on which names of the candidates, their political parties and a box that a voter can check to mark the political party/candidate of his/her choice are printed.
Voter can check any of the following on the ballot:
1. independent candidate or
2. political party, coalition or list of independent candidates or
3. the possibility to mark one or several candidates on a candidates’ list of a political party, coalition and list of independent candidates.
It is considered that the list has received one valid vote for the purpose of mandate distribution if the voter has correctly marked one or several candidates on one list.
Central Voters’ RegisterThe Central Voters Register constitutes the records of citizens of BiH who have the right to vote in accordance with the BiH Election Law and is established, maintained and used for the following purposes: to organize and conduct elections in accordance with law, to conduct referendums, to conduct recalls of elected officials and to elect bodies of the local self-governance in accordance with the Law.
Compensatory mandatesMean the mandates that are allocated to the lists of political parties or coalitions according to the number of valid votes received, and serve to compensate for inadequate proportional representation at the entity level arrived at by summing up the results for the particular multimember constituencies in the entity.
Confirmation of election resultsThe conditions for confirmation of the election results are met after all requests for recount are considered and after the BiH CEC eventually orders recount and all appeals filed to the election results are addressed. The BiH Central Election Commission confirms election results for bodies at every individual level of authority within 30 days following the E-Day, The confirmed election results are final, and are published in the official gazettes and can be implemented.
a) a basic constituency which means a municipality, city, the District of Brčko, the city constituency of the City of Mostar and constituencies of the city area of the City of Mostar where a total number of representatives is elected and constituted for a certain level of authority and which does not contain the multimember constituencies;
b) a cantonal constituency where a total number of representatives is elected and constituted for a certain level of authority and which does not contain multimember constituencies.
c) an entity constituency where the Entity level of authority is elected and constituted, containing multimember constituencies, and
d) an entity constituency where the State level of authority is elected
Means a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina whose status of a displaced person has been established by a competent administration authority responsible for the displaced persons affairs as provided by law.
Eligible voterAccording to the BiH Election Law, an eligible voter is a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina registered in the Central Voters’ Register. To be registered in the Central Voters’ Register a person must have 18 years of age, citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina and permanent place of residence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The elections at all levels of authority in BiH are held on the first Sunday in October unless the date conflicts with observance of a religious holiday of one of the constituent peoples of BiH. Any election that cannot be held on the first Sunday in October because of a conflict with a religious holiday are scheduled by the Central Election Commission of BiH for the Sunday closest to the first Sunday in October, which does not conflict with a religious holiday.
Election administration/election management bodies
Election commission and polling stations A Municipal Election Commission consists of three, five or seven members. A municipal election commission may appoint the municipal election commission Secretary to perform administrative and technical duties. The Central Election Commission of BiH determines the number of the Municipal Election Commission’s members in accordance with the number of the voters registered in the Central Voters’ Register and the size of a municipality.
The members of the Municipal Election Commission are appointed by the Municipal Council/Municipal Assembly, subject to the approval of the Central Election Commission of BiH based on a public vacancy according to the procedure established by the Central Election Commission of BiH under a separate regulation.
Election yearThe period that corresponds to a calendar year in which elections are planned to be held.
Election campaignMeans actions and procedures in the period established by the Law within which a political subject informs the voters and the public, as prescribed by the Law, about their programs and candidates for the forthcoming elections.
Election cycleMeans the mandate period relating to a certain level of authority.
Election periodMeans the period from the day the elections are announced to the day when the election results are validated.
Means a certain percentage of votes received (valid ballots) that must be won by a political subject in order for it to be eligible to participate in the allocation of mandates.
Main characteristics of the election system in BiH:
• Majority and proportional system,
• System of closed, non-blocked list,
• Mandatory representation of women on the candidates' lists,
• Election threshold (3%) for participation in mandate distribution; election threshold within list of a political party for municipal councils/assemblies is 10%, and for higher levels 20%,
• Multimember constituencies,
• Compensatory mandates.
Excerpt from concluded final Central Voters’ RegisterMeans a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina whose status of a displaced person has been established by a competent administration authority responsible for the displaced persons affairs as provided by law.
Several categories of voters vote by enveloped ballots:
1. Voters voting outside BiH by-mail;
2. Voters voting in BiH by tendered ballot;
3. Voters voting by mobile team;
4. COVID-19 positive voters and/or voters in isolation or in a hospital;
5. Displaced persons within BiH i.e. the persons who have official displaced person status.
Establishing election results
Established election results are complete results of voting of all voters’ categories (regular voters, voters voting in absentia, voters voting in person, voters outside BiH, voters voting by mobile team) and after they are published in line with the Election Law of BiH a request for the recount can be filed.
Interim Voters’ RegisterMeans excerpt from the CVR used for enabling public scrutiny of the information contained in the Central Voters’ Register.
Maximum amount allowed to be spent for financing the election campaignMaximum amount that a political subject can spend for financing the election campaign. It is calculated based on number of voters registered for each constituency. The Central Election Commission of BiH announces the number of voters for each constituency within seven days of the day of completion of the Central Voters’ Register (Election Law of BiH, Article 15.10).
Multi-member constituencyMeans a constituency where more than one but less than the total number of representatives for a certain level of authority is elected.
National Minority MemberMeans a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina who does not belong to any of the three constituent peoples. A national minority is made of people of the same or similar ethnic background, same or similar tradition, customs, faith, language, culture and spirituality and close or related history and other features. (Article 3 of the Law on Protection of Rights of National Minority Members) Bosnia and Herzegovina protects the status and equality of national minority members: Albanians, Montenegrins, Czechs, Italians, Jews, Hungarians, Macedonians, Germans, Poles, Roma, Romanians, Russians, Rusins, Slovaks, Turks, Ukrainians and other who meet the conditions referred to in Article 3, paragraph 1 of the Law.
Means a political party represented in representative or legislative government authorities.
Personalized polling set
Personalized polling set is an envelope with polling material and written personal information of voter for voting: by-mail or tendered ballot or through a mobile team.
According to the BiH Election Law “Polling Station and surrounding area” includes the area within 50 meters of the entrance of a building in which a Polling Station is located. Each voter is assigned to a polling station according to the address of residence.
Types of polling stations:
1. Regular polling station (at which the voters voting for the basic constituency of the current place of permanent/temporary residence are exercising their voting right)
2. Polling station for voting in absentia (at which displaced persons whose basic constituency for which they vote differs from the basic constituency of the current place of residence are exercising their voting right).
3. Polling station for voting in person (at which displaced persons vote, but in the municipality of residence from 1991)
4. Polling station for voting with tendered ballots (at which the following voters can exercise their voting right:
a) voters registered in the excerpt from the Central Voters’ Register for voting outside BiH, but are in the country on the Election Day, and
b) voters who were first time registered in the excerpt from the Central Voters’ Register in the period from the day the Central Voters’ Register was concluded until the Election Day, and who present to the polling station committee a certificate issued by the Center for Voters’ Register confirming their name is found on one of the excerpts from the CVR.
5. Polling station at the diplomatic and consular representation office of BiH (DCRO) (The BiH CEC passes the Decision on determining polling stations at the DCRO BiH at which voters registered in the excerpt from the Central Voters’ Register for voting at the DCRO can vote. The Decision is passed 50 days before the Election Day if all organizational and technical conditions are met and if sufficient number of voters have registered to vote at a DCRO BiH).
6. Mobile teams (are engaged for voting of voters who are homebound due to illness, old age or disability, as well as for voters who are prisoners or confined to institutions). Furthermore, special mobile teams are engaged for voting of COVID-19 positive voters and/or voters in isolation or in a hospital.
Polling station committee
Polling station committees are election management bodies appointed by the city/municipal election commission for every elections based on the proposal of certified political subjects or from reserve composition no later than thirty days prior to the date of the election. The Polling Station Committee consists of three or five members of whom one is appointed President. The President and members of the Polling Station Committee have deputies.
Means a political party, an independent candidate, a coalition, or a list of independent candidates certified for participation in elections in accordance with the BiH Election Law.
Article 5.30 of The Election Law of BiH read:
1. After the establishment and announcement of the election results by the Central Election Commission of BiH, a Municipal Election Commission, a certified political party, coalition, list of independent candidates, or independent candidate may request that a recount of ballots be conducted by the Central Election Commission of BiH in specified constituencies in which the political party, coalition, list of independent candidates, or independent candidate stood for election. An accredited observer may request that a recount of ballots be conducted by the Central Election Commission of BiH in a Polling Station at which the observer observed. A certified political party, coalition, list of independent candidates, independent candidate, or observer may also request that a recount of ballots be conducted by the Central Election Commission of BiH of absentee ballots, ballots cast outside BiH or tendered/enveloped ballots.
2. A group of 50 or more voters who voted at the same Polling Station may request that a recount of ballots be conducted by the Central Election Commission of BiH in the Polling Station at which they voted.
3. A Municipal Election Commission may request that a recount of ballots be conducted by the Central Election Commission of BiH in a Polling Station in its municipality.
4. The Central Election Commission of BiH shall consider a request for recount if the request meets each of the following requirements:
4.1. the request is in writing and signed by the accredited observer, group of 50 or more voters who voted at the same Polling Station, independent candidate, president of the political party, leaders of the list of independent candidates, any of the presidents of political parties which formed a coalition or Municipal Election Commission;
4.2. the request states with specificity the facts which justify a recount, including the specific articles of this law which were disregarded or violated;
4.3. the request states with specificity the approximate number of ballots believed to have been affected;
4.4. the request states how the results would have been affected by the violation of this law, and
4.5. the request is presented to the Central Election Commission of BiH within three (3) days of the date the Central Election Commission of BiH announced the election results.
5. The Central Election Commission of BiH may order a recount, ex officio, even if no request for recount has been made under paragraph 1 of this Article or if the request for recount has been deemed invalid under paragraph 3 of this Article.
6. The Central Election Commission of BiH shall order a recount if it is established that this law was violated and the violation affected the allocation of mandates.
Tendered ballot can be used by:
a) Persons registered to vote outside country, who are in BiH on the E-Day. That vote is counted at the Main Counting Center where it is checked if the person had voted outside BiH as well. If it is determined that the person had voted outside BiH as well, that ballot will be rejected and the ballot casted in person is counted.
b) Voters who are registered in the Central Voters’ Register (CVR) for the first time since the day it was concluded until the E-Day, who present to the polling station committee a certificate issued by the Center for Voters’ Registered confirmed that their name is not found on any excerpt from the CVR. That ballot is counted at the Main Counting Center.