Virtual WiP: 2020 Elections and Covid Spread in Georgia

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are proud to announce the launch of the 2021 Fall Series of the Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series!

****Given the continuing COVID19 situation, the Works-in-Progress sessions will continue in virtual format until further notice. To register for the event and automatically receive the Zoom info, click on the link below****…/tZEvdO6tqTIiGNeLKaKhuDJq1eD5X…

“How did the 2020 Parliamentary Elections affect the spread of COVID-19?”

By Givi Silagadze and Dustin Gilbreath, CRRC Georgia

Date: September 22, 2021, at 18:30 Tbilisi time

COVID 19 has led to over 8000 deaths in Georgia. The data analysis presented in this presentation suggests that a substantial share of Georgia’s COVID 19 cases and deaths were likely attributable to the October 2020 parliamentary elections. Georgia’s COVID-19 case counts and deaths attributable to COVID-19 did not return to the levels that would be expected in the absence of an election for an extended period following the elections. This is demonstrated through the use of synthetic controls models, a rigorous quasi-experimental research method. The increase in cases is despite the fact that the Central Elections Commission put in place preventative measures at polling stations to avoid the spread of COVID-19. With local elections coming on October 2 and the country coming out of the worst wave of the pandemic it has experienced to date, policy makers and the Central Election Commission should have added focus on the safe conduct of elections. At the same time, citizens should be encouraged to engage responsibly in the vote. This presentation takes no position on whether or not elections should be delayed. Instead, it aims to encourage voters and the government to focus efforts on holding safe elections.Givi Silagadze is a researcher at CRRC Georgia.Dustin Gilbreath is the Deputy Research Director at CRRC Georgia, and lectures at Ilia State University and the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University.

Although this presentation will take place in virtual format, in observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule to which the series generally adheres, the talk will not be recorded and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing it as well. The opinions expressed in WiP talks are those of the speakers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC, ARISC or of American Councils.
WiP is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that normally takes place at the new office of CRRC at Liziko Kavtaradze St. 1. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.