Security of elections

 

In order to ensure the integrity of the election process, it is necessary to establish various security measures during all its phases. International standards relating to the security aspect of elections do not exist, but each state applies those security measures that are adequate to its social and political environment. In many countries, the coordination of the security of election operations is carried out through a Joint Operations Center, which is usually set up a few months before the election and includes representatives from a range of institutions that exchange information, plan, hold briefings and monitor the election process.

In the election year, the Central Election Commission of BiH informs the Ministry of Security of BiH, relevant ministries of interior and security agencies that it has passed a Decision on announcing and administering of the elections.

In line with provisions of Article 2.1, paragraph 3 of the BiH Election Law, which stipulates that „all bodies of authority at all levels, officials in BiH and diplomatic and consular representation offices of BiH are obliged to assist the competent authorities responsible for the conduct of elections“. The BiH Ministry of Security establishes a Committee for election security in Bosnia and Herzegovina or a working group to monitor the realization of the tasks within the competence of BiH institutions and police bodies related to the conduct of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the aim of performing cooperation activities related to election security, coordinating monitoring and analysis of the security environment during elections and taking actions to achieve a satisfactory security environment. The Committee for election security or the working group consists of the representatives of the BiH Central Election Commission, Directorate for coordination of Police Bodies, State Investigation and Protection Agency, BiH Border Police, Intelligence-Security Agency of BiH, Police of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FBiH Ministry of Interior, RS Ministry of Interior and cantonal ministries of interior.

In the period from September to the end of November, police officers of the mentioned ministries and security agencies perform physical security of the building of the Central Election Commission of BiH, warehouses of the Central Election Commission of BiH, Main Counting Center and ensure distribution security and escort of convoys with election material to the Main Counting Center. Field operations are coordinated by the Operational Headquarters for the Coordination of Security of Facilities and Distribution of Election Materials for Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Operational Headquarters) headed by the Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies, which includes representatives of all aforementioned ministries and security agencies.

All issues related to the election security are discussed at the meetings of the Committee for election security/Working Group and the Operational Headquarters, as well as the analysis of the situation and regulations in the field of public order and peace throughout BiH, the place and role of the police in the administration of elections, including conduct of timely coordination activities through law enforcement agencies regarding the creation of security conditions for the smooth conduct of elections. From the beginning of the election campaign, the Central Election Commission of BiH regularly receives reports on the security situation from the Committee / Working Group for security of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to which it is informed about all security aspects of the election process.

During the distribution of ballots, security measures are taken to coordinate the monitoring of paper transport from the border crossing to the ballot printing company, as well as to secure the distribution and escort of trucks with the election/polling material, which is harmonized with the time plan of election activities, from the BiH Central Election Commission to the municipal/city election commissions in all cities/municipalities and the Election Commission of Brčko District, as well as the return of polling material from municipal / city election commissions and the Brčko District Election Commission to the warehouse of the Central Election Commission of BiH.

Escort of the polling material for the Main Counting Center includes security-related activities concerning transport from the warehouse of the Central Election Commission of BiH to the Main Counting Center and return of the polling material to the warehouse of the Central Election Commission of BiH, securing the polling material from the post office box to the Main Center for Counting and securing the transport from the Central Election Commission of BiH to the Main Counting Center.

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