On the morning of November 7, 2012, Humphrey Alumnus Edmon Marukyan was part of a diverse group of students, civil society representatives, educators, government officials, and members of the press who joined Ambassador Heffern and U.S. Embassy staff for an Election Day Breakfast event at the U.S. Embassy in Armenia.
Attendees watched as live election results from the U.S. were shown on a large screen and posed for photos next to life-sized cut-outs of President Obama and Governor Romney. The event also featured informational booths on the Democratic and Republican Parties, the Electoral College, and the democratic transition of power. A mock voting booth was set up to allow the audience to cast votes for their favorite candidate.
Edmon Marukyan (Armenia, 2009-2010) is no stranger to the world of elections. Edmon is currently the only independent MP in the Armenian National Assembly. In his dual roles a prominent human rights advocate and an MP, Edmon Marukyan spoke at the Congress Hotel Picasso earlier this year on October 25, 2012, informing a meeting room filled with young and eager attendees about “how to become a member of parliament”. His advice was to hone in on certain “skills” to win the election.
Edmon’s victory can be considered a victory of the multiplier effect, where each voter is not just contributing a vote, but also contributing by informing others about the candidate. This technique allowed Edmon to publicize his candidacy and his plans to city residents without requiring excessive financial investments. A relatively low amount of materials were produced and distributed by the campaign, including 500 posters and a few thousand booklets. A couple of TV debates were also organized. Edmon participated in all of the TV debates, unlike other candidates. 80 people, a vast majority of them being family, friends, and like-minded volunteers, worked at the campaign’s sole headquarter in central Vandazor city. In what has been considered a victory for civil society in Armenia, Edmon defeated his rival by 2400 votes.
Information on U.S. Elections from: http://armenia.usembassy.gov/news110712.html