Elections to Mazhilis and Maslikhats in Kazakhstan: How Voters Can Find Their Polling Stations

ASTANA — As Kazakhstan prepares for parliamentary and local elections on March 19, the Central Election Commission (CEC) representatives explained how voters can find their polling station and what to do if they are not on the list. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Voters can find their polling station by contacting their akimat (local governments) or by their individual identification number on the e-government website and by SMS.

The list of voters at the place of residence is compiled by the akimats using the state database of individuals, said Deputy Chairman of the CEC Konstantin Petrov at a March 7 meeting in Astana. 

According to Petrov, to exclude cases where voters do not find themselves on the lists, the CEC, the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs developed services to check the information at the place of registration of citizens on the e-Gov website. To register and verify address information, voters can visit the citizenship, migration, and immigration section on the e-Gov website. 

Members of precinct election commissions, which are given access to the service through the e-Gov website, can also receive information about the place of a person’s permanent registration for inclusion in the voter list upon a written request from a voter.

If the information about the voter’s permanent registration at the place of residence in the territory within the boundaries of the polling station is confirmed, the precinct election commission includes the person in the voter list. Otherwise, an explained decision to refuse inclusion is made.

The service will be available in 4,055 polling stations, particularly where the risk of incomplete inclusion of citizens in the voter lists is higher, as well as areas with houses that have just recently been occupied, Petrov noted.

Using their individual identification number, voters can find out information about polling stations, district numbers, and election candidates, said Asset Turysov, Vice Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry. 

The ministry sent out SMS notifications encouraging citizens to find out their polling station. According to Turysov, SMS notifications have been delivered to over two million people.

Petrov said that previous experience has shown that citizens do not include themselves in the voter lists in advance and tend to apply for inclusion on the day of voting. 

Spokesperson of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, Aibek Smadiyarov, urged Kazakh citizens living abroad to get in touch with diplomatic missions in advance to include them in the voter list, as embassies have a limited number of ballots. Kazakh citizens voting abroad will only be able to vote for parties, said Smadiyarov.

“Because of the recent changes, several ballots will be at the polling stations: to choose candidates from parties, members of the Mazhilis and single-mandate candidates. All the polling stations at our diplomatic institutions abroad belong to the Esil district of the capital. Therefore, our citizens can only vote for parties for the time being,” Smadiyarov explained at a March 6 press briefing.

Each party participating in the election has formed its own lists of candidates. Voters will need to familiarize themselves with them in advance as the ballot will only contain a list of parties rather than the names of those in party lists.

Two ballots will be offered at the polling stations that are part of single-mandate districts — one with the names and surnames of single-mandate candidates, the second with a list of political parties. Voters can find the names of the candidates in their constituency at the local territorial commission.

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