Voting freely and privately
Do you want to vote but fear that you will not be free to vote independently or that the secrecy of your vote will be compromised? The Law is very clear when it comes to the freedom and secrecy of your ballot. The Constitution of Kosovo clearly states that the vote is “personal, equal, free and secret”. The Law on General Elections also states that during the voting process no one can interfere or influence your voting decision, or jeopardize the secrecy of your vote. You should be able to fill your ballot behind a cover and out of anyone’s view.
If any individual – including CEC officials – tries to influence your vote by persuasion, force or bribes, then they are committing a criminal offence which according to the Criminal Code of Kosovo could be punished from 1 to 5 years in prison.
Minor offences can be fined between 200 and 2000 EUR. Electoral processes are administered by the Central Election Commission but an important role in the process is played by security and legal institutions such as the Kosovo Police and Public Prosecutors. Any attempts to violate the freedom and privacy of voting should be reported as soon as possible to any of these institutions so that violators can be punished.
If the court rejects your complaint, then the matter can always be addressed to the second instance court. In addition, the Law on General Elections states that Elections Complaints and Appeals Commission (ECAC) is an independent body which decides on complaints and appeals related to the election process. Any person who has a legal interest in electoral matters can file an appeal to the ECAC, as permanent, independent and competent body to decide related to the admitted complaints which deal with the election process as set within the Law on General Elections in the Republic of Kosovo and Election Rules.
Additionally, Kosovo Criminal Code, which has entered into force on 1st of January 2013, among others has foreseen and sanctioned some criminal offences which correlate with criminal offences against voting rights.