vote rigging

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Russia: At a Russian polling station, phantom voters cast ballots for the ‘Tsar’ | Reuters

At polling station no. 333 in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz, Reuters reporters only counted 256 voters casting their ballots in a regional election on Sunday. People were voting across Russia in what is seen as a dress rehearsal for next year’s presidential vote. Kremlin candidates for regional parliaments and governorships performed strongly nationwide. When the official results for polling station no. 333 were declared, the turnout was first given as 1,331 before being revised up to 1,867 on Tuesday. That is more than seven times higher than the number of voters counted by Reuters – with 73 percent of the votes going to United Russia, the party of President Vladimir Putin. Election officials at the polling station said their tally was correct and there were no discrepancies. Reuters reporters were there when the polls opened at 08:00 until after the official count had been completed. They saw one man, who said he was a United Russia election observer, approaching the ballot box multiple times and each time putting inside voting papers. “We must ensure 85 percent for United Russia. Otherwise, the Tsar will stop providing us with money,” the man, Sergei Lyutikov, told a reporter, in an apparent reference to Putin. Read More

Editorials: Kenya: The Election & the Cover-Up | Helen Epstein/The New York Review of Books

On August 8, millions of Kenyans formed long, orderly lines outside polling stations across the country to vote in presidential and local elections. Kenya is notorious for corruption, and virtually all prior elections had been marred by rigging. This time, however, the US and Kenya’s other donors had invested $24 million in an electronic vote-tallying system designed to prevent interference. When Kenya’s electoral commission announced on August 11 that President Uhuru Kenyatta had won another five-year term with over 54 percent of the vote, observer teams from the African Union, the European Union, and the highly respected US-based Carter Center, led by former Secretary of State John Kerry, commended the electoral process and said they’d seen no evidence of significant fraud. Congratulations poured in from around the world and Donald Trump praised the elections as fair and transparent. Read More

Kenya: Opposition outlines vote-rigging case ahead of court battle | Financial Times

Kenya’s opposition has alleged that results from more than a third of polling stations in this month’s presidential election contained “fatal and irredeemable irregularities” as it seeks to overturn President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory. In legal documents filed to the Supreme Court, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) also said the electoral commission “selectively manipulated, engineered and/or deliberately distorted the votes cast” to deny Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, hundreds of thousands of votes. Nasa last week decided to contest the election result in court after Mr Kenyatta won 54 per cent of the vote to Mr Odinga’s 44 per cent, a difference of 1.4m votes. Independent monitors’ parallel tallies recorded a similar result to the electoral commission based on a representative sample of almost 2,000 polling stations.  Read More

Rwanda: Politically Closed Elections | Human Rights Watch

Presidential elections in Rwanda on August 4, 2017, took place in a context of very limited free speech or open political space, Human Rights Watch said today, as President Paul Kagame is sworn in for a seven-year term. Human Rights Watch released a chronology of violations of the right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly in Rwanda between the country’s December 2015 referendum – allowing the president to run for a third term – and the election, which Kagame won with a reported 98.79 percent of the vote. “Kagame’s landslide win came as no surprise in a context in which Rwandans who have dared raise their voices or challenge the status quo have been arrested, forcibly disappeared, or killed, independent media have been muzzled, and intimidation has silenced groups working on civil rights or free speech,” said Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Yet the Rwandan authorities took no chances with the presidential vote, as repression continued in recent months despite the weak prospects for any opposition candidate.” Read More

Kenya: Kenyatta Wins Big in Kenya – But U.S.-Style Election Skullduggery Taints the Results | The Daily Beast

Kenya’s election has come off without major disturbances, and on Friday evening Nairobi time, the nation’s Independent Electoral Board and Boundaries Commission declared a winner in the country’s presidential race. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, secured 54.2 percent of the vote. All the same, a number of election-cycle oddities go unexplained—including the novel involvement of foreign big-data and PR consultancies who’ve played significant roles in electoral upsets in both the U.S. and U.K. Tuesday, election day, the seafront here in Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was deserted. Shops and schools were closed. In the town square a long line of men–including red-cloaked Maasai–stood chatting quietly. Women waited in a separate queue, noticeably shorter than the men’s. Read More

Kenya: The Drama of Kenya’s Presidential Election | The Atlantic

An electoral system with a spotty record, claims of hacking, the mysterious killing of an election official, and the threat of post-election violence makes this week’s presidential election in Kenya one of the most closely watched in Africa. Adding to the intrigue: The head of the country’s election commission acknowledged Thursday there had been an unsuccessful attempt to hack its database. That acknowledgment came a day after Raila Odinga, a leading presidential candidate, claimed the elections were fixed in favor of the incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta. “Hacking was attempted but did not succeed,” said Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). His remarks have the potential to raise tensions in a country that already has seen five people killed in post-election violence. Although the results are not final, Kenyatta holds a strong lead over Odinga with most of the votes counted at polling stations. Read More

Kenya: Police arrest IEBC staff over illegal possession of ballot boxes | Daily Nation

The announcement of results for various elective seats in Kilgoris constituency, Narok County, was marred by delays and arrests, which almost crippled the process. Tallying was temporarily halted after a presiding officer, his deputy and a police officer were arrested with ballot papers in a house. Mr George Akumu, the presiding officer for Endoinyo Nkopit polling station and his deputy, Ms Sarah Yiamat Leperon, were seized in Milimani estate in Kilgoris town. Trans Mara West director of criminal investigations David Njogu said the two were in the company of Mr Pius Otieno, an Administration police officer. Mr Njogu said they suspected that the materials were intended to be used to stuff ballot boxes before sending them for tallying. Read More

Kenya: Opposition leader claims hacking attack cheated him of victory | The Guardian

The leader of Kenya’s opposition has claimed that he was cheated of victory by an overnight hacking attack which manipulated the results in the country’s presidential election. “You can only cheat the people for so long,” Raila Odinga said. “The 2017 general election was a fraud.” With ballots from 94% of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission showed the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 54.4% of the nearly 14 million ballots tallied, against Odinga’s 44.8%, a difference of 1.3 million votes. Turnout appears to have been around 75%. Millions of people queued late into the evening on Tuesday to cast their votes in an election seen as a key test of the stability of one of Africa’s most important countries. Read More

Rwanda: President’s Lopsided Re-election Is Seen as a Sign of Oppression | The New York Times

The re-election of Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s longtime president, had never been in question. But opponents and rights advocates say his nearly 99 percent margin of victory reflects what they call an oppressive political environment that stifles dissent in the central African nation. The lopsidedness of the result of the Friday vote giving Mr. Kagame a third seven-year term, announced on Saturday, was no surprise to supporters. They called it an accurate barometer of his enormous popularity in transforming Rwanda from the post-genocide depths into a beacon of African prosperity and stability. “People trust him. If it were not democratic, he could even score 100 percent,” said Wellers Gasamagera, the spokesman for Mr. Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front political party. “There is nothing strange as to the high score in terms of votes.” Still, the results also punctuated the glaring absence of a viable opposition in Rwanda. Dissenting views are frequently silenced. Read More

Rwanda: US ‘disturbed by irregularities’ in Rwanda landslide vote | The Washington Post

The United States said Saturday it was “disturbed by irregularities observed during voting” in Rwanda’s election, which longtime President Paul Kagame won with nearly 99 percent of the vote. A State Department statement reiterated “long-standing concerns over the integrity of the vote-tabulation process.” Kagame easily won a third term in office in what he had called “a formality.” He faces another seven years leading the small East African nation praised for its economic performance but criticized for its silencing of opponents. Electoral authorities said Kagame won 98.63 percent of the vote. Neither of his two challengers won a full percentage point. Read More