vote buying

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Malawi: Malawi criminalises handouts for votes ending the age-old election tradition | Face2Face

Most political candidates take advantage of the electioneering period to pay out lots of money and gifts to the electorate in a bid to sway their decisions in their favour or against their opponents. Many African countries have tried to stem this habit but only a few have managed to successfully pass a law to criminalise the process. One of these countries is Malawi, which passed the Political Parties Act that came to effect on December 1, 2018.  The law bans politicians from using cash payments and other incentives to get support ahead of elections in 2019.

Full Article: Malawi criminalises handouts for votes ending the age-old election tradition - Face2Face Africa.

Georgia (Sakartvelo): Georgians demand new polls after ‘bought’ election | Al Jazeera

Thousands of Georgians have staged a mass protest over the results of the country’s presidential runoff vote, alleging widespread electoral fraud and demanding snap parliamentary elections. About 25,000 opposition supporters demonstrated in the capital, Tbilisi, on Sunday, days after the former Soviet nation elected its first woman president, Salome Zurabishvili. An independent candidate backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, Zurabishvili claimed almost 60 percent of the vote to beat the opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze on Wednesday. But opposition leaders including Vashadze have refused to accept the result, pointing to instances of alleged vote-buying, voter intimidation and ballot-stuffing in the election’s second round.

Full Article: Georgians demand new polls after 'bought' election | News | Al Jazeera.

Nigeria: Vote-buying as the game changer in Nigeria’s democracy | The Guardian Nigeria

The game has changed. The days are gone where rampant and widespread ballot-box snatching, political thuggery, and falsification of figures at collation centres define election rigging in Nigeria.Today, vote-buying is the name of the game and just as an election observer and monitoring group, Yiaga Africa, has described, vote-buying is the new way of election rigging by politicians in the country. Projector Director of Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, said in Osogbo yesterday at a Media Round Table Discussion tagged ‘Watching The Vote’ ahead of the September 22 governorship election in Osun State.Mbamalu said vote-buying was becoming a threat to Nigerian electoral process, adding that all hands must be on deck to put an end to the menace. “Nowadays, the more money you give, the more votes you get and this is becoming a problem and a challenge to our electoral process.”

Full Article: Vote-buying as the game changer in Nigeria’s democracy — Features — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News.

Egypt: For as Little as $3 a Vote, Egyptians Trudge to Election Stations | The New York Times

The woman in a long black shawl bustled up to a stall on a back street in the crowded Nile Delta city of Tanta, 50 miles north of Cairo. “Where’s my subsidy box?” she demanded. “My brothers and sisters in Cairo have already received theirs. When do I get mine?” The woman, Soad Abdel Hamid, a housewife, was referring to boxes of subsidized food — cooking oil, rice and sugar, mostly — promised to voters in many poor areas in return for casting their vote in Egypt’s presidential election. With no real opponent to provide drama in his re-election bid, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is relying on the sheer enthusiasm of his supporters to generate a credible turnout. And where fervor isn’t enough, he has other means of enticing — or pushing — voters to the polls.

Full Article: For as Little as $3 a Vote, Egyptians Trudge to Election Stations - The New York Times.

Colombia: Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mar Colombian Elections | teleSUR

While some voting stations ran out of ballots, social media users also posted numerous videos showing alleged irregularities including vote buying. Colombia’s legislative elections and interparty primaries have created a stir in the South American nation, after major irregularities were reported by NGOs, candidates and social media users. The Electoral Observer Mission (OEM) – which had warned of the risk of fraud in hundreds of municipalities in the run-up to the elections –reported numerous inconsistencies as videos surfaced on social media appearing to show vote-buying and other fraudulent activities. “Unauthorized information desks” had been set up in front of polling stations in various towns “with lists of voters and transportation ready to receive them,” the OEM said. 

Full Article: Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mar Colombian Elections | News | teleSUR English.

El Salvador: El Salvador Opens Final Counting due to Alleged Vote-Buying | Prensa Latina

Electoral authorities of El Salvador will start today a final countdown of the legislative and municipal elections, among international denunciations of ballot-buying. Preliminary counting already left a very precise idea of the result of elections carried out last Sunday, characterized mainly to abstentionism and null votes, that favored rightwing Arena Party.

Full Article: El Salvador Opens Final Counting due to Alleged Vote-Buying.

China: Bought-and-paid-for elections in villages erode China’s grass-roots democracy | Global Times

Late into the night at a small rural Chinese village of just 29 households, the lights of each household were still turned on. The village, which ordinarily would have been asleep, was as bustling as on the eve of the Lunar New Year. It was the night before the village’s general election. The homes had left their lights on as a signal to invite each candidate to come inside and “buy” their vote. This scene was described by one of the residents of Sanxian village in North China’s Shanxi Province. The resident told the Global Times that buying votes frequently happens at many Shanxi village elections, “and some villagers don’t turn off their lights until accepting money from every candidate.” A similar scenario happened in Nailin village of Shanxi on January 6, which drew nationwide attention. China Youth Daily reported that each candidate running for village head had paid each villager 1,000 yuan ($159) each. Screen shots of text messages and photos of villagers counting their money were posted online.

Full Article: Bought-and-paid-for elections in villages erode China’s grass-roots democracy - Global Times.

Kyrgyzstan: Vote-buying, counting glitches marred Kyrgyzstan vote – observers | Reuters

European observers said on Monday vote-buying and significant procedural problems marred Kyrgyzstan’s presidential vote, though they praised the move towards an orderly transfer of power in the volatile ex-Soviet state. Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a protege of the outgoing president, won on Sunday with 55 percent – a stronger result than the near tie polls had predicted. Opposition leader Omurbek Babanov conceded defeat but said he would investigate irregularities. The election is seen as a test of stability in the central Asian country where Russia still holds considerable sway and two previous leaders were ousted in violent riots. Kyrgyz news website Turmush.kg published a video showing hundreds of Babanov supporters rallying outside a local government building in his home Talas region. But there were no reports of violence.

Full Article: Vote-buying, counting glitches marred Kyrgyzstan vote - observers.

Mexico: State election heads to court amid alleged intimidation and vote-buying | The Guardian

A hotly contested state election in Mexico is heading to court after the president’s cousin was declared the victor amid widespread allegations of voter intimidation, vote buying and misuse of public resources. Alfredo del Mazo Maza, the candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI), was declared the winner after early results in the state of Mexico gave him a two-point lead over Delfina Gómez of the leftwing National Regeneration party (Morena). But with the vote so close, Morena – led by the populist firebrand Andres Manuel López Obrador– is refusing to accept the initial results. The full count will not be completed before 7 June, after which Morena will almost certainly seek that the election be annulled.

Full Article: Mexico state election heads to court amid alleged intimidation and vote-buying | World news | The Guardian.

Armenia: Elections tainted by vote-buying: OSCE monitors | Al Jazeera

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has criticised Armenia’s weekend election, saying it had been tainted by instances of vote-buying and interference. President Serzh Sarksyan’s ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) won Sunday’s elections, official results showed, laying the foundation for a new parliamentary system of government. The OSCE said in a statement the elections were well-administered and fundamental freedoms were generally respected.  But, it added, they had been marked by organisational problems and undue interference in the process, mostly by party representatives. It also noted some pressure on civil servants as well as private sector employees.

Full Article: Armenia elections tainted by vote-buying: OSCE monitors | Armenia News | Al Jazeera.

Kentucky: Voting Fraud vs. Election Fraud And Claims Of Chicanery In Kentucky | WFPL

In a national television appearance on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell knocked down claims of wide-scale voting fraud in the presidential election. While tossing cold water on President Trump’s repeated (and unsubstantiated) claims of fraud impacting the election, McConnell did say that vote fraud is real, it happens, and Kentucky has a history of it. “… the Democratic myth that voter fraud is a fiction, is not true,” McConnell said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We’ve had a series of significant cases in Kentucky over the years. There is voter fraud in the country.” Our reporting pals at WAVE-3 in Louisville asked McConnell’s office for details. His office responded with a link to our newsroom’s August 2016 article on Kentucky’s history of vote buying. So, is McConnell right? Is fraud rampant in Kentucky? No, not really. The answer is complicated, though, and it boils down to semantics.

Full Article: Voting Fraud vs. Election Fraud And Claims Of Chicanery In Kentucky.

China: 45 National Lawmakers Expelled Amid Vote-Buying Scandal | Caixin

China’s top legislature has expelled 45 lawmakers, or nearly half the number elected from Liaoning province, over a bribery and vote-buying scandal. The decision — announced at a highly unusual emergency meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Tuesday — comes after a two-year investigation by the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog into election fraud in the northeastern province. China’s national and provincial lawmakers are chosen through a multitiered voting system, with members within the legislative bodies electing candidates mostly nominated by the party. An estimated 523 lawmakers out of the 619 members of Liaoning’s People’s Congress were implicated in the scandal, which involved paying “enormous amount of money” to their peers to get elected in 2013, said sources close to the investigation, which concluded in June.

Full Article: China Expels 45 National Lawmakers Amid Vote-Buying Scandal.

India: Election Commission cancels polls to two Tamil Nadu seats | Free Press Journal

In an unprecedented move in the history of Tamil Nadu”s electoral politics, the Election Commission of India (EC) on Saturday decided to rescind its poll notification in two constituencies following conclusive evidence of bribery of voters on a large scale. Quite shockingly, the EC has noted that bribing of voters continued in one of the constituencies after the postponement of polls in Aravakurichi constituency in Karur district and Thanjavur constituency, both in central Tamil Nadu, on charges of irregularities. Tamil Nadu went to polls on May 16 but polling in the two constituencies was deferred at the eleventh hour – first in Aravakurichi and then in Thanjavur. Originally the deferred polls were to take place on May 23 but the EC withheld its decision after the PMK and BJP”s candidates moved the Madras High Court seeking postponing of the elections.

Full Article: Election Commission cancels polls to two Tamil Nadu seats - Free Press Journal.

Dominican Republic: People Openly Sell Votes for $20 in the Dominican Republic | Bloomberg

Jayson was a first-time voter in the Dominican Republic, or would have been, if he’d had any intention of voting. Instead he was figuring out how to turn his ballot card into cash. In the end, the 19-year-old said he got 1,000 pesos ($22) in return for surrendering the ID during Sunday’s presidential election. Jayson had a Plan B to solicit bids — “I’ll go around with my card on my forehead” — but didn’t need to use it. His friend, Luis, 21, did even better. He said he was paid about $28 to vote for the ruling Dominican Liberation Party: “I took the money but then I just voted for who I wanted anyway.’’ As President Danilo Medina cruised toward re-election, with 62 percent of the vote according to early counts, opposition parties were crying fraud — in fact, almost everyone was. Across the country and the political spectrum, candidates said buying of ID cards and votes was rife. Local TV stations showed transactions under way right in front of polling stations.

Full Article: People Openly Sell Votes for $20 in the Dominican Republic - Bloomberg.

Philippines: Vote-buying still a concern as polls approach | Channel NewsAsia

This year will see the Philippines’ third automated polls – the first one was the elections in 2010. But though automation means more security in vote-counting and faster results, it cannot prevent irregularities such as vote-buying – an acknowledged fact in a country where 60 per cent of the people live below the poverty line. Marcelino Farjardo, a 58-year-old tricycle driver, earns around 300 to 500 pesos (US$6-10) a day. He supplements this income with earnings from his family-run internet shop which earns him an additional US$15-21 a week. However, with five children to feed life is still a struggle, so when politicians make the rounds in the run-up to elections offering gifts, holidays and money in exchange for a vote, it can be hard to resist. “If it will help my people, why not? … Tricycle drivers are poor too,” he said.

Full Article: Vote-buying still a concern in the Philippines as polls approach - Channel NewsAsia.

National: Republican says delegate vote-buying and gifts are part of ‘the free market of politics’ | ABC

“Cash is on the table,” veteran Republican Marti Halverson says. “I don’t know why you’re so shocked.” This is not the response I was expecting — my mouth gaping. I had just finished asking Wyoming National committeewoman Mrs Halverson about the “wooing” of delegates to switch their vote in this very-likely-to-be-contested upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms Halverson is also opposed to any rule that would stop delegates accepting gifts. “This is a great country,” she said. “We give presents to our friends. No, I would not vote for a rule that said candidates cannot ‘woo’ delegates. I wouldn’t do that. It’s not the American way.” But what is the difference between wooing someone and buying their vote without cash? “Cash is on the table,” she replied. “Absolutely. It is going around that delegates are going to be offered free trips to Cleveland. Not Wyoming delegates, we haven’t heard that. But it is on the table. It is not illegal.”

Full Article: US election: Republican says delegate vote-buying and gifts are part of 'the free market of politics' - US election 2016 - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Peru: Electoral board opens inquiry into Kuczynski | Reuters

A lower electoral board in Peru said Wednesday it was opening a formal inquiry into whether presidential hopeful Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the chief rival of front-runner Keiko Fujimori, broke a new law against vote buying. If electoral authorities find the center-right candidate improperly bought beer and liquor for an Andean town, as alleged by opponents he would be barred from April 10 elections. Analysts said the board would likely keep Kuczynski in the race, especially after the same lower electoral board cleared Fujimori of similar allegations. The country’s five-member National Jury of Elections is expected to hand down a final ruling on Fujimori this week to settle an appeal.

Peru: Peru Evades Electoral Chaos as Front-Runner Stays in Race – Bloomberg Business

Keiko Fujimori, the front-runner in Peru’s presidential election, was cleared of trying to buy votes, saving the election from slipping into farce after two other leading candidates were barred and another accused of irregularities. Fujimori didn’t offer or hand out money or gifts in exchange for votes, government news agency Andina reported, citing a ruling by the Lima Centro 1 electoral board. The ruling follows allegations she participated in a ceremony where a member of her Fuerza Popular party gave prize money to the winners of a dance contest. Fujimori has had at least 30 percent support in polls for the past two years and disqualifying her would have thrown the election wide open barely two weeks before the April 10 vote. The electoral board already excluded two of Fujimori’s rivals this month. Moreover, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the second-placed candidate, was accused this week of breaking the country’s new vote-buying rules.

Full Article: Peru Evades Electoral Chaos as Front-Runner Stays in Race - Bloomberg Business.

Uganda: Judges to Mbabazi – Prove Voter Bribery, Intimidation | allAfrica.com

In closing arguments yesterday in the Supreme court, lawyers for Amama Mbabazi, the main challenger to President Museveni’s re-election victory, worked harder than ever to prove the charges of voter bribery, intimidation and disenfranchisement of voters against the president. But without supporting evidence, the lawyers came for tough questioning from Chief Justice Katureebe. They also couldn’t prove that discarding the old voters’ register by the Electoral Commission affected the outcome of the presidential and parliamentary elections. The Mbabazi lawyers however, did a good job poking holes into the Electoral Commission’s handling of polling on election day and the final declaration of results. In his robust presentation, Mbabazi’s lead counsel, Mohmed Mbabazi, told court that President Museveni’s victory should be nullified because the Electoral Commission did not rely on hard copies of the declaration of results forms and tally sheets from districts when declaring the winner.

Full Article: Uganda: Judges to Mbabazi - Prove Voter Bribery, Intimidation - allAfrica.com.

Illinois: Prosecutors look into vote-buying allegations in Chicago | Associated Press

In a city where voter fraud is part of local lore, prosecutors are examining allegations by a Chicago alderman and others that campaign workers are paying people to vote for a Democrat involved in one of Illinois’ most contentious legislative elections. Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, said Monday that the office’s election unit is “looking into” a complaint against state Rep. Ken Dunkin of Chicago. The complaint was first lodged by Alderman Pat Dowell, a supporter of Dunkin’s opponent in the Democratic primary who on Sunday released videos that she says were made by “volunteers” who entered a Dunkin campaign office to secretly record the payments. A spokesman for Dunkin has called the accusations “baseless.”

Full Article: Prosecutors look into vote-buying allegations in Chicago | Daily Mail Online.