The ink on his thumbnail was supposed to be a fraud-proof deterrent, a sign that he had already voted in Haiti’s critical presidential and legislative elections. But hours after the adviser to Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council cast his ballot in the now disputed Oct. 25 vote, the indelible ink stain was barely visible, more resembling a fading birthmark than an electoral safeguard. Nearly two months after the pivotal balloting and three weeks before the scheduled Dec. 27 presidential runoff, Haiti remains at an impasse. Allegations of ballot tampering, fraudulent tabulations and widespread procedural breakdowns — such as failing ink that led to multiple voting — have fanned a widening chorus of doubt about the credibility of the results.
While Russia hailed the Nov. 2 elections held by Ukraine’s Kremlin-backed separatists as a legitimate expression of popular will, more evidence has piled up in recent days that the results of the elections had been rigged. Other reported problems with the elections: not being held in accordance with Ukrainian and international law, the absence of independent observers, the removal of all major competitors of the incumbent leaders from the race, the distribution of vegetables at polling stations and the lack of media freedom. On top of that, separatist guards wielding assault rifles at polling stations were seen by some commentators as intimidating. Others criticized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic for artificially decreasing the number of polling stations to a minimum, causing long lines intended to demonstrate a high turnout on Russian television. The governments of the unrecognized republics were not available for comment.
Mississippi: Democrats ask Justice Department to observe Hattiesburg mayoral election | The Clarion-Ledger
Saying that “some of the controversy surrounding” Hattiesburg’s special mayoral election has taken on a racial tone it finds “troubling,” the Democratic Party of Mississippi has asked the federal government to send representatives to observe the Sept. 24 election. In a letter dated Aug. 23, 2013, Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey L. Cole made the request of United States Attorney General Eric Holder. “The more eyes on the process, the better,” Cole said Wednesday. “The more attention and daylight that’s brought into the process, whether there was anything untoward that happened or might have happened or not, it’s much better to have independent observers to make their observations from the standpoint of a disinterested person.” Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, whose 37-vote victory in June over former City Councilman Dave Ware was challenged in court and eventually led to the second election, said in a statement Wednesday that he had asked Coleman to make the request.
In local and regional elections marked by low voter turnout and fresh allegations of polling fraud, Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party claimed a landslide victory on Sunday. Putin’s allies preserved their seats in all five of the regional governor’s jobs up for a vote. And United Russia won most of the 4,848 local legislative seats and referendums up for a vote in 77 regions, according to preliminary returns. Some observers called the results a political comeback for the Kremlin party after a poor showing in the national parliamentary election held last December, when it won less than 50% of the vote amid widespread accusations of massive electoral manipulation. Putin thanked voters on Monday. “For me, the results of the vote are not unexpected,” he said in televised remarks. “I think it one more step confirming the voters’ intent to support the current authorities and the development of the Russian statehood.”