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Growth In Armenia’s Eligible Electorate Product of ‘Artificial Intervention’

What is the actual number of voters in Armenia? In the light of the December 6 referendum on the Serzh Sargsyan-initiated constitutional amendments Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office has conducted an analysis of the data provided by the RA National Statistic Service (NSS) over the years.

According to the NSS, in 1991 the population of Armenia amounted to 3,512,000 people, of which 58% (2,051,473) were eligible to vote, i.e., legally capable people who have reached 18 years. 

The lack of comprehensive and structured electoral rolls, as well as the uncertainty of census statistics, as stated by the organization, resulted in multiple omissions in voters' lists in the 90s, and a large number of citizens was denied the right to vote. Over time, however, the solution to this problem has led to another extreme. In 2013, Armenia's population was 3,017,100 people, while the number of voters amounted to 2,509,434, or 83% of the population.

Thus, in 22 years the country's population has decreased by almost 500 thousand; the total number of voters, on the other hand, has increased by the same amount. Meanwhile, based on the NSS average annual rate of the population's age distribution, 25-30% of the resident population was under 18 years old. Therefore, 70-76% of the resident population should have been eligible to vote (as in 2003-2008). In reality, however, we were presented with the following picture: the ratio of the eligible population has disproportionately increased in the general population, which, if taken as a fact, means that in the first years of Armenia's independence, especially during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the country has experienced an unprecedented increase in birth rate which then decreased sharply.

In the mean time, the ratio of the eligible electorate and the citizen population of the city of Vanadzor shows that the above-mentioned trend of the voters' disproportionate growth was the result of an artificial intervention or statistical manipulation.

According to the RA Central Electoral Commission official data, in 2005 the total number of voters in Vanadzor amounted to 101,205. Meanwhile, based on the NSS data, the resident population of the city in 2005 was 105,700, i.e., 96% of the population was eligible to vote. In 2012-13, the number of voters in Vanadzor increased in parallel with the population decline, as a result of which the electorate amounted to 112-113% of the city's resident population.