On 22 October, the director of the Service of Technological Security of State Documents Vaclovas Juknevičius participated in a meeting of Parliament’s Anticorruption Commission (AC) and acknowledged that ballot papers in Lithuania are not secure. They are, according to the officer, printed with a simple printer, alfa.lt reported on 22 October.
“Ballot papers are currently not secure. [...] There is no problem printing them on a printer. [...] We have raised this question, however, there is not enough time to make a secure document,” said Juknevičius to AC members, adding that this information was received from the printing house where the ballot papers are printed.
Juknevičius could not answer who was responsible for the fact that the ballot papers are not protected from counterfeiting.
The Head of the Service of Technological Security of States Documents said that ballot papers are ordered by the Central Electoral Commission before each election. According to the officer, the printing of the document is supervised by his service, but the responsibility for the security of ballot papers falls on their designer.
“If it had been determined that a lot of ballots were fake the election results would be annulled,” said Juknevičius.
Vaigauskas: many ballot papers removed during this election
The Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Zenonas Vaigauskas participated in the meeting of the AC and denied the statement of the Head of Document Security Agency that ballots are easy to counterfeit.
“The paper is relatively rare. [...] There is a grid that a copy machine cannot replicate,” explained Vaigauskas.
According to him printing one ballot paper currently costs a few cents. The printing of this document with a watermark would cost around one litas.
Vaigauskas explained that this could be done if the state budget had the necessary funds.
When presenting the ballots counting statistics, the CEC Chairman emphasized that this parliamentary election is different from the others not by only the highest number of irregularities, but also by the fact that a large quantity of ballot papers have been removed from the election districts.
According to Vaigauskas, 1820 ballot papers of multi-member constituencies were removed, along with 2288 ballot papers of single-member constituencies, and 6625 referendum ballots.
“In total, 10,723 ballot papers were taken away,” summed up the CEC Chairman.
Translated by Laura Bojarskaitė
Edited by Rachel Croucher