election irregularities

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Indonesia: ‘Flawed system’ responsible for rampant poll violations | The Jakarta Post

Experts have blamed political immaturity and a flawed electoral system for rampant poll violations in local elections throughout the country. “The country’s poor electoral justice system has allowed opportunists to commit violations. This trend has persisted since the first direct local election in 2005. I have seen no significant efforts either by the government or the House of Representatives to fix the problem,” Hadar Nafiz Gumay of the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro) said.

The General Elections Monitoring Body (Bawaslu) announced last week that it received 1,718 reports of poll violations in 92 local elections in 2011. The majority of the reports concerned finances related to politics. Hadar said that direct local elections were not problems in themselves.

Full Article: ‘Flawed system’ responsible for rampant poll violations | The Jakarta Post.

New Zealand: Questions over Waitakere vote | NZ Herald News

Evidence of dodgy voting has emerged in the battle for Waitakere. A judge has found nine people voted twice and 393 people voted despite not being on the electoral roll. The result has changed twice: National’s Paula Bennett won by 349 votes on election night, then Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni inched ahead by 11 after the special vote count, only to have Bennett reclaim victory on Friday by nine votes after a judicial recount.

The Herald on Sunday has obtained a copy of Judge John Adams’ initial judgment. It shows Bennett gained eight votes after the recount while Sepuloni lost 12. Labour bosses will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to accept defeat or pursue an electoral petition. Former president Mike Williams, who was a scrutineer in the recount, did not favour an electoral petition as he thought it unlikely Sepuloni would win.

Full Article: Questions over Waitakere vote - Politics - NZ Herald News.

Russia: Demonstrations denouncing electoral irregularities repressed, election monitoring NGO slandered | fidh.org

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), strongly condemns the pressure exercised on the NGOs, human rights defenders and peaceful protesters who denounced electoral irregularities and called for fair, free and independent electoral processes following the elections results on December 4, 2011, as well as the defamation campaign targeting the Golos, an NGO working on election monitoring, ahead of the election.

Golos (“the Voice”), a major Russian NGO specialising in election monitoring has been the target of a State-organised harassment and a defamation campaign since November 26, 2011. The harassment started a week before the holding of the elections when a State-controlled media, the pro-Government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, published an article dated November 26, criticising Golos and accusing them of “reducing the process of observing the electoral campaign and voting on election day into a way of making money”.

Later, on December 2, 2011, the State-controlled TV channel NTV entered Golos headquarters to question the staff with cameras in order to broadcast in the evening a half-hour documentary containing sharp criticism of the NGO. In line with the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s statement of November 27, the broadcast alluded that Golos had been a “recipient of grants” following “instructions of foreign governments”, and that the NGO’s executives were handling millions of dollars in cash, in an attempt to discredit them. Vladimir Putin had accused the “representatives of some foreign countries” to pay money to influence the elections and accused western-granted associations to make a “wasted effort” as “Juda [was] not considered the most respected biblical character” in Russia.

Full Article: Demonstrations denouncing electoral irregularities repressed - election monitoring NGO slandered - FIDH - Worldwide Human Rights Movement.

Russia: Protests continue in Moscow, as Gorbachev calls for nullifying elections | The Washington Post

An anti-government demonstration planned for Saturday was drawing strong support in Russia, as supporters of Prime Minister Vladi­mir Putin staged their own rally in the capital and police announced hundreds more arrests in Tuesday night’s protest against corruption. More than 14,000 people have signed up for Saturday’s demonstration in Revolution Square to protest the recent legislative elections, according to a Facebook page announcing the event. Western monitors say the voting was flawed by ballot-stuffing and other irregularities.

As the number of people pledging to attend the demonstration grew, Moscow officials shut down Revolution Square for construction, the New Times Web site reported. The Web site published a photograph of barriers erected to close off the square, near a statue of Karl Marx, and quoted a city hall representative as saying the decision to work on the square was made Wednesday. The city has employed construction before to limit or prevent protests.

Also Wednesday, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Russian authorities should nullify the election results because of fraud concerns. Prime Minister Vladi­mir Putin’s ruling United Russia party won with less than 50 percent of the vote, a far weaker showing than in past years.

Full Article: Protests continue in Moscow, as Gorbachev calls for nullifying elections - The Washington Post.

Egypt: Hillary Clinton Says Parliamentary Election In Russia Was Rigged | huffingtonpost.co.uk

Issuing new warnings to two U.S. partners Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Russia for a parliamentary election she said was rigged and said election gains by Islamist parties must not set back Egypt’s push toward democracy after the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak this year.

She acknowledged the success of Islamist parties in Egyptian parliamentary voting that the U.S. has praised as fair. But many of the winners are not friendly to the United States or U.S. ally Israel, and some secular political activists in Egypt are worried that their revolution is being hijacked. Islamist parties are among the better-known and better-organized in Egypt, and while they were expected to do well in last week’s first round voting, a hardline bloc scored surprisingly large gains.

Full Article: Hillary Clinton Says Parliamentary Election In Russia Was Rigged.

Russia: Thousands of protesters accuse Putin’s party of rigging parliamentary election | The Republic

Several thousand protesters took to the streets Monday night and accused Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party of rigging this weekend’s parliamentary election in which it won the largest share of the seats. It was perhaps the biggest opposition rally in years and ended with police detaining about 300 activists. A group of several hundred marched toward the Central Elections Commission near the Kremlin, but were stopped by riot police and taken away in buses. Estimates of the number of protesters ranged from 5,000 to 10,000. They chanted “Russia without Putin” and accused his United Russia party of stealing votes. In St. Petersburg, police detained about 120 protesters.

United Russia won about 50 percent of Sunday’s vote, a result that opposition politicians and election monitors said was inflated because of ballot-box stuffing and other vote fraud. It was a significant drop from the last election, when the party took 64 percent. Pragmatically, the loss of seats in the State Duma appears to mean little because two of the three other parties winning seats have been reliable supporters of government legislation.

Nevertheless, it was a substantial symbolic blow to a party that had become virtually indistinguishable from the state itself. The result has also energized the opposition and poses a humbling challenge to Putin, the country’s dominant figure, in his drive to return to the presidency. Putin, who became prime minister in 2008 because of presidential term limits, will run for a third term in March, and some opposition leaders saw the parliamentary election as a game-changer for what had been presumed to be his easy stroll back to the Kremlin.

Full Article: Thousands of protesters accuse Putin's party of rigging Russia's parliamentary election | The Republic.

Editorials: Reflections on Congo’s elections | CSMonitor.com

Elections have passed throughout most of the Congo – voters are now suspended in a weird limbo of several weeks as they wait for election results to be announced. Sitting in bars and living rooms, people in Bukavu send and receive dozens of text messages a day regarding the results seen outside voting offices and compilation centers – “Vital is ahead in 8 out of 32 centers in Goma!” “Tshisekedi takes a surprising lead in Beni territory!”

I won’t delve into too much speculation about the result yet. It is too early to do so; results just began trickling into the central compilation centers in Kinshasa yesterday. It looks like Tshisekedi did well, and that the race will be close, but beyond scattered results here and there, there is more speculation than anything else. 

Full Article: Reflections on Congo's elections - CSMonitor.com.

Namibia: It is time for introspection for the Electoral Comission of Namibia |Informante

The Electoral Commission in Namibia (ECN) has proven to be a farce in the last ten years judging from allegations and counter allegations of vote rigging, including ballot stuffing. At the centre of the controversial ECN is the credibility of the commissioners, who are bipartisan and biased in favour of the ruling class.

The recent Informanté exposé of a commissioner appointed with fake qualifications, but who even made if to the shortlist of the successful candidates, served as the straw that broke the camel’s back. An investigation points to a deliberate endeavor to have a commissioner who could be bought and sold, with an appropriate profile, to collaborate in one way of the other to sway the election results in favour of the powers that be.

Full Article: Informante.

Nigeria: Court rejects challenge to Jonathan win | Reuters

A Nigerian court rejected a challenge to President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory in an April election, scuppering demands by the main opposition party for a recount in several areas of the country. Jonathan was declared winner of the April 16 election with 59 percent of the vote. But his nearest rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who polled 32 percent, refused to accept the outcome.

Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) party filed a petition to challenge the result in May, arguing the vote was marred by irregularities. “The petition fails in its entirety and is hereby dismissed,” Justice Kumai Akaahs told the court on Tuesday, reading out a unanimous decision by five judges.

Full Article: Nigerian court rejects challenge to Jonathan win | World | Reuters.

New Jersey: Fairfield election investigation continues; polls open next Tuesday | NJ.com

Voters here will again head to the polls and select their township representatives for county Democratic Committee. A second election one week from Tuesday comes per the request of Superior Court Judge David Krell. The results from the June election were first disputed by candidates and later ruled on by Krell earlier this month.

He also ordered the case be turned over to the Division of Criminal Justice, which is under the state Attorney General’s office, for consideration of a full investigation. It is still unclear where that investigation stands. A response from the  Division of Criminal Justice was not received as of press time.

Attorney Samuel Serata, who represents candidates Ernie and Cindy Zirkle, said Monday he believed Krell signed his court order last week and the criminal justice division would have likely just received it. “It will be at least a month before any report comes out,” said Serata.

Full Article: Fairfield election investigation continues; polls open next Tuesday | NJ.com.

Voting Blogs: Did New Jersey election officials fail to respect court order to improve security of elections? | Freedom to Tinker

The Gusciora case was filed in 2004 by the Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic on behalf of Reed Gusciora and other public-interest plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs sought to end the use of paperless direct-recording electronic voting machines, which are very vulnerable to fraud and manipulation via replacement of their software. The defendant was the Governor of New Jersey, and as governors came and went it was variously titledGusciora v. McGreevey, Gusciora v. Corzine, Guscioria v. Christie.

In 2010 Judge Linda Feinberg issued an Opinion. She did not ban the machines, but ordered the State to implement several kinds of security measures: some to improve the security of the computers on which ballots are programmed (and results are tabulated), and some to improve the security of the computers inside the voting machines themselves.

Full Article: Freedom to Tinker | Hosted by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy.

Voting Blogs: New Jersey election cover-up | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

During the June 2011 New Jersey primary election, something went wrong in Cumberland County, which uses Sequoia AVC Advantage direct-recording electronic voting computers. From this we learned several things:

  1. New Jersey court-ordered election-security measures have not been effectively implemented.
  2. There is a reason to believe that New Jersey election officials have destroyed evidence in a pending court case, perhaps to cover up the noncompliance with these measures or to cover up irregularities in this election. There is enough evidence of a cover-up that a Superior Court judge has referred the matter to the State prosecutor’s office.
Full Article: NJ election cover-up | Freedom to Tinker.

Mississippi: Democrat contests primary result in House race | The Clarion-Ledger

The loser in the Hinds County House District 73 Democratic primary is formally contesting the results. Terry resident Gay Polk said she hand-delivered a notice of contest Thursday afternoon to Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee chairman Claude McInnis. She lost by 90 votes to attorney Brad Oberhousen, also of Terry.

Polk, a registered nurse, wants a review and recount of all ballots – paper, electronic, affidavit, absentee and disqualified – plus poll books, sign-in registries and signature counts in the 13 precincts that are part of District 73.

While several other candidates have complained about election irregularities in the Democratic primary in Hinds County, none has taken the same step as Polk. Polk’s notice puts into motion what could end up as a court challenge.

Full Article: Dem contests primary result in House race | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com.

New Jersey: Supreme Court reverses decision in Atlantic Beach Town Council election | TheSunNews.com

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that two write-in candidates for seats on the Atlantic Beach Town Council may begin serving their terms as council members, saying there “was a direct attempt by the [Atlantic Beach Municipal Election Commission] to interfere with the full and fair expression of the voters’ choice.”

In the opinion, the state Supreme Court justices reversed a circuit court ruling that upheld the town election commission’s decision to overturn election results. Former town manager Carolyn Cole and the Rev. Windy Price were thedeclared winners in the town’s municipal election in November 2009.

Full Article: Supreme Court reverses decision in Atlantic Beach Town Council election - Crime and Courts - TheSunNews.com.

Texas: Officials confirm irregularity in Rowlett special election | dallasnews.com

Elections officials confirmed Wednesday that there was an opening-day glitch in the early voting process for the July 16 special election. The glitch involved voters in Rowlett, which straddles Dallas and Rockwall counties.

A voter who lives in the Rockwall County part of Rowlett, Nicholas Kreekon, went to vote at about 12:15 p.m. on June 29 and was turned away. He was told only the Dallas County portion of Rowlett was eligible.

Full Article: Officials confirm irregularity in Rowlett special election | The Scoop | dallasnews.com.

Kyrgyzstan: MP indignant at unfair election of Kyrgyzstan Central Election Commission’s members | eng.24.kg

Parliament member of Kyrgyzstan is indignant at unfair approach used during election of members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) by the presidential quota. Mrs. Galina Skripkina stated.

She said when the parliamentary quota of 8 persons was approved MPs voted for them through general ticket. “Now we are offered to vote for each four candidates separately. This is unfair. Tomorrow we can be accused of bias. We have to elect them through general ticket,” said Mrs. Skripkina.

Full Article: eng.24.kg.

Colorado: No indictments issued in Saguache election | Valley Courier

The grand jury report on the Saguache County 2010 General Election was released Tuesday afternoon by the State Attorney General’s Office but no indictments were returned in the investigation. The report relates that Saguache County Clerk Melinda Myers did admit during her testimony that she failed to follow the Secretary of State (SOS) rules during the election.

In commentary submitted to the grand jury following its decision, Myers stated that she was “encouraged to see the conclusions so well explained and hope that we can finally put this election to rest.”

Full Article: Valley Courier No indictments issued in Saguache election.

New Jersey: Faulty parts delay election results in Middlesex County NJ | MyCentralJersey.com

It was late Tuesday night — hours after the polls closed for the primary elections — and some candidates still had yet to learn the final vote tally. That’s because municipal clerks in Monroe, Plainsboro, South River and Woodbridge, many of whom started their day at 5 a.m., clocked out without ever learning the unofficial results because of an issue with some of the voting machines.

“To work those kind of hours and not be able to give the candidates their results is frustrating,” Monroe Township Clerk Sharon Doerfler said.

In Monroe, four of the voting machines were printing illegible numbers that ran over the top of one another. Like every other municipality, Monroe’s poll workers received an emergency number to call in the event of a malfunctioning voter machine.

New Jersey: Computer snag delays Montclair NJ Primary Election vote tally | NorthJersey.com

Due to a computer-software glitch, Montclair still didn’t have its Primary Election results as of Wednesday afternoon, and was doubtful about having them by the end of yesterday.

“A nightmare. Never had this happen before,” Township Deputy Clerk Carla Horowitz said Tuesday night as the township was struggling to tally the local results after a computer program went awry.

Late Wednesday morning, the Clerk’s Office still wasn’t able to get an accurate count of Montclair’s votes and the municipal Information Technology officer was away, so he couldn’t help.

“We worked on it this morning,” Horowitz said. “The program seems to be working a little bit better.”

Full Article: Computer snag delays Montclair Primary Election vote tally - NorthJersey.com.

Pennsylvania: South Greensburg PA councilwoman refuses to concede primary | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

South Greensburg Councilwoman Linda Iezzi on Wednesday refused to concede in her race to secure one of two Democratic nominations for Westmoreland County commissioner. “I have to talk to my lawyer,” Iezzi said as she weighed a potential recount of votes cast in the May 17 primary.

The county Elections Board yesterday preliminarily certified the results of the race, declaring incumbent Commissioner Ted Kopas of Hempfield and Mt. Pleasant Mayor Gerald Lucia as winners of the Democratic primary for county commissioner. Lucia, the long-time mayor of Mt. Pleasant Borough and its fire chief, finished 74 votes ahead of Iezzi.

County officials spent the last three weeks reviewing vote totals as part of the certification process and found three additional votes for Lucia, according to Election Bureau Director Jim Montini.

Full Article: South Greensburg councilwoman refuses to concede primary - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.