A commission charged with evaluating Haiti’s Oct. 25 presidential and legislative elections has found that egregious irregularities and a high presumption of fraud plagued the vote, while the electoral machine requires sweeping changes in order to hold a postponed runoff. According to official results, government-backed candidate Jovenel Moïse received 32.76 percent of the votes while Jude Célestin, the former head of the state construction agency, garnered 25.29 percent. Célestin, however, called the results a “ridiculous farce” and refused to campaign. Alleging vote-rigging and ballot-stuffing, Célestin and other opposition candidates called for an independent Haitian-led commission to probe the disputed balloting. The commission was created by President Michel Martelly on Dec. 22, five days before the postponed second round. On Sunday morning, members issued their findings, which critics say do not resolve the political crisis despite pointing out a series of major systemic problems besieging Haitian society.
Protesters have streamed into the capital’s streets in recent weeks in sometimes violent rallies to back opposition demands for an independent recount of the first round of Haiti’s presidential vote and immediate changes to an electoral council. That fervor isn’t shared by many in this impoverished country, however, and analysts worry widespread voter apathy is threatening the latest attempt to shore up Haiti’s fragile democracy. The malaise during this year’s three-round electoral cycle is occurring while nearly all public offices are up for grabs. Food vendor Minouche Jean didn’t vote in the first round of the presidential election in late October and won’t cast a ballot in the runoff that is scheduled for Dec. 27. She has no interest in a process that seems to matter so little in her daily life.
A bill that would give the Secretary of State’s office the authority to prosecute voter fraud in Missouri is being submitted for 2016. The bill would also allow the Secretary of State to write probable cause statements in potential voter fraud cases. “It allows them to prosecute voter fraud cases if the local prosecutor chooses not to or doesn’t have the resources,” said Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit), who is sponsoring the bill. “There are some small counties in the state of Missouri that may not have the resources and then there are some large counties that may be taking care of more violent crimes and other things that the prosecutors are a little busy with and don’t have the time for a voter fraud case.”
Georgia: DeKalb County’s LaVista Hills election investigated for tampering | Atlanta Journal Constitution
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and the GBI opened an investigation Thursday into alleged voting irregularities – including a stray voting machine memory card – in the referendum that narrowly defeated the proposed city of LaVista Hills. A DeKalb election supervisor alleged that he found an unsecured memory card Wednesday that contained results from the Briarlake Elementary precinct, according to Channel 2 Action News. It’s unknown whether the votes on the memory card were counted in the precinct’s totals, where voters supported LaVista Hills 378-313.
From television studios, solemn newspaper columns, websites written with the help of TV news, reports on foreign media and research papers that pretend to be academic an interpretation of what happened this week in Tucumán has emerged: in the north of the country, politics is determined by a patronage system in which unscrupulous politicians take advantage of the needs of the poorest Argentines. These humble members of society, the thinking goes, suddenly find themselves placed in a position between the immorality of selling their vote to those who give them a social welfare plan and lack thought or ability to compare options. So they end up giving their support to leaders who hurt them.
That thesis, generally uttered from a trendy Buenos Aires City neighbourhood, attributes humble Northern voters the same intellectual capacity of a machine. In contrast to this barbarianism, there is a sophisticated, well-informed citizenry which supports candidates based not only on self-interest but also principles. Opposition lawmaker Elisa Carrió has been saying it clearly: “The urban middle classes must save the country’s poor.”
Tucumán has become the center of the Argentinean election campaign after thousands of protestors gathered outside government headquarters in the provincial capital of Miguel de Tucumán to call for new elections amid reports of widespread fraud during Sunday’s gubernatorial vote. After several hours, Governor José Alperovich, who has been ruling the region with an iron fist for 12 years, decided to break up the growing crowd in Plaza de la Independencia. People ran, police on foot and on horseback charged against the crowd, tear gas and rubber bullets were fired and several injuries were reported.
Argentina: Finger pointing in Argentina after police break up protests over ballot burning | Associated PRess
In a sign of increasing tension ahead of October elections, the top presidential candidates in Argentina and other government officials exchanged accusations on Tuesday after protests over alleged vote fraud in a northern province were broken up with tear gas and rubber bullets. Cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez suggested that foreign elements from “up north” had organized the late Monday protests, which ended when police fired on people and forcefully removed them from the main square of San Miguel de Tucuman, about 807 miles (1,300 kilometers) north of Buenos Aires. Mauricio Macri, the leading opposition candidate for October’s presidential election, told reporters on Tuesday that it’s impossible to say Sunday’s gubernatorial election in Tucuman was clean when at least 40 ballot boxes had been burned. “We can’t say that this was a normal election,” said Macri, adding that having voting irregularities “in the 21st century is unacceptable.”
Under fire once again for lapses in oversight of Florida’s voter database and lax communication, Gov. Rick Scott’s top elections official says he’ll “over-communicate” in the future. For embattled Secretary of State Ken Detzner, it’s an all-too-familiar refrain as he tries to improve his strained relationships with county election supervisors, who depend on a reliable database as they tabulate votes in Florida elections. In a conference call with the executive committee of the supervisors association Thursday, Detzner spoke from a prepared script and said the addition of new database hardware is ahead of schedule and that he would soon make site visits to counties. “I recognize the need to over-communicate our planning at the department,” Detzner told them, according to a three-page script of his remarks.
An investigation into voting irregularities during the November general election has raised serious security concerns about equipment used in about one-fifth of Virginia’s precincts, a new report says. The report issued late Wednesday says the state Board of Elections should consider decertifying the WinVote touchscreen system and barring its use in future elections. The board is expected to conduct a public hearing on this and other options in the next few days. Link: Full DOE report on Virginia voting equipment
Apparent voting irregularities have been documented as Tajikistan held parliamentary elections, including widespread cases where one person was casting ballots for an entire family, a lack of election monitors, and instances where volunteer poll workers advised people who to vote for. The Central Election Commission said more than 82 percent of the 4.3 million registered voters had cast a ballot, well over the 50 percent turnout needed to make the election valid. The ballot comes after a campaign that international monitors described as flawed.