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 is the first to clearly state 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 (Articles 212-215) could be punishable by 1-5 years in prison. Minor offences can be fined between 200 and 2000 EUR.
Electoral processes are administered by the Central Elections Commission but an important role in the process is played by security and justice 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 apprehended and brought to justice.
If the court rejects your complaints, then the matter can always be addressed to the court of second instance. In addition, the Law on General Electors states that the ECAC should be an independent body deciding on complaints and appeals related to the electoral process. Any person who has a legal interest in electoral matters can file an appeal to the ECAC.