CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION SUGGESTS TO PRODUCE BALLOT PAPERS "ON COMPUTER, TYPEWRITER, OR BY HAND WRITING (INK OR BALL-POINT PEN)"
Central Election Commission issued an instruction on "Organization and Legal Issues of Work of Territorial and Constituency Commissions for Election of Deputies to Local Soviets of the Republic of Belarus", which goes beyond the norms of the Election Code. Chapter "Provision of constituency election commissions with ballot papers" reads: "Ballot papers are produced by printing. Ballot papers for elections of deputies to town, small town and village Soviets, in case it is impossible to produce them by printing, can be made by members of appropriate territorial election commissions on computer, typewriter or by hand writing (ink or ball-point pen)".
With this wording the Central Election Commission violates the requirements of the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus. Art. 41 of the Election Code reads, that town, small town and village territorial election commissions have the following functions: to approve the text of the ballot papers for election of deputies to appropriate territorial units, to ensure production of ballot papers and to provide constituency commissions with ballot papers. Art. 72 of the Election Code contains requirements for ballot papers for local elections. The article does not stipulate production of ballot papers on typewriters or with hand writing. The only case, when corrections with ink or ball-point pens are allowed, is the case when a candidate quits the race after the ballot papers have already been printed.
It's worth mentioning, that many democratic countries secure their ballot papers by different means, such as water signs, serial numbers, etc. Producing ballot papers with hand writing might lead to mass falsification of the elections results, if all 1,529 town, small town and village territorial election commissions use the right, given by the Central Election Commission, to produce ballot papers by hand writing.