vote rigging

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Nigeria: Africa’s Biggest Democracy Fights Enduring Problem: Rigging | Bloomberg

As Nigeria heads toward general elections in February, it’s in a race to stamp out the bane of the voting system in Africa’s biggest democracy: rigging. Ballot snatching and buying, underage and multiple voting, falsifying results and the suppression of turnout in opposition areas are among the abuses the National Assembly is trying to tackle with new legislation. The bill, passed last month, emerged from talks among the presidency, lawmakers and civic groups. As it awaits President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature, time is running out. “We put a lot of work into the bill and we believe a lot of the provisions are positive,” said Clement Nwankwo, the chairman of Situation Room, a coalition of 71 civic organizations monitoring the election process. “If it’s not signed now, there’ll really be worries.”

Full Article: Africa's Biggest Democracy Fights Enduring Problem: Rigging - Bloomberg.

Russia: Local election results in Far East cancelled after protests | Al Jazeera

Russia’s Far East region has cancelled the result of a runoff governorship vote in an unprecedented move after claims of vote-rigging in favour of a candidate backed by President Vladimir Putin triggered protests. A local electoral commission took the decision on Thursday after Russia’s election chief Ella Pamfilova on Wednesday recommended re-running the vote. The crisis erupted in the Far Eastern region of Primorsky Krai where an opposition candidate accused a ruling party representative endorsed by Putin of “stealing” his victory in the vote last Sunday.

Full Article: Russia cancels local election results in Far East after protests | Russia News | Al Jazeera.

Mali: Opposition supporters protest Keïta’s re-election | AFP

More than a thousand supporters of Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cisse gathered in the capital Bamako on Saturday after he lost a presidential run-off to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita amid accusations of fraud. Keita was re-elected with 67.17% of Sunday’s vote against 32.83% for challenger and former finance minister Cisse. In Bamako, the protesters played vuvuzelas and displayed their candidate’s campaign posters, watched by dozens of police officers in riot gear, AFP journalists witnessed. Cisse, who said on Friday he had won the poll and dismissed the official results as “parody and lies”, joined his supporters mid-morning.

Full Article: Hundreds protest Mali election results marred by fraud claims | News24.

Mali: Tensions and rigging allegations as Mali awaits election second-round | African Arguments

Malians look set to vote again on 12 August to choose their president from the two remaining candidates. The run-off will see President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (known as IBK) go up against Soumaila Cisse for the second time in five years. In the first round of Mali’s presidential election on 29 July, IBK officially won 41.4% of the vote. Cisse came a distant second with 17.8%. However, the poll was marred by widespread allegations of corruption, rigging and vote-buying. Activists and party members allege various incidents of fraud and ballot-box stuffing. Cisse’s campaign director, for example, claimed there is a “village of 150 inhabitants where 3,000 people voted”. Citizen observers in Kayes region say voters were seen standing in line to receive fertiliser after casting their votes, while some in Bamako were reportedly offered tens of dollars to vote a certain way. In the north, where there is little security, rumours abound that the ruling party conspired with militant groups to rig the vote.

Full Article: Tensions and rigging allegations as Mali awaits election second-round - African Arguments.

Mali: Candidate goes to court alleging vote fraud | Al Jazeera

Opposition candidate Soumaila Cisse is mounting a legal challenge in Mali’s constitutional court alleging “ballot box-stuffing” after he came in a distant second to incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the first round of the country’s presidential election. Keita won 41.42 percent of votes in the July 29 presidential poll, easily ahead of Cisse with 17.8 percent. They will face off in a second-round runoff on Sunday, August 12. “Soumaila Cisse filed last night (Saturday) around 20 submissions to the constitutional court for ballot box-stuffing, violations of the electoral law and other irregularities,” a spokesman for the candidate told the AFP news agency on Sunday. 

Full Article: Mali: Candidate Soumaila Cisse goes to court alleging vote fraud | News | Al Jazeera.

Zimbabwe: Tensions rise amid vote rigging fears | The Guardian

Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as opposition fears intensify that the election count will be rigged, monitors warn of possible violence if the results are contested and authorities brace for protests. Millions of people voted peacefully on Monday in the first election since the army removed Robert Mugabe from power last year. Long queues of voters formed outside polling stations and turnout was recorded at 75%. The opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, said early on Tuesday that he was “winning resoundingly”, a claim repeated by senior officials over the course of the day. His supporters gathered at their party’s headquarters in the capital during the afternoon, celebrating victory despite the lack of official results.

Full Article: Zimbabwe election: tensions rise amid vote rigging fears | World news | The Guardian.

Zimbabwe: Tensions rise amid vote rigging fears | The Guardian

Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as opposition fears intensify that the election count will be rigged, monitors warn of possible violence if the results are contested and authorities brace for protests. Millions of people voted peacefully on Monday in the first election since the army removed Robert Mugabe from power last year. Long queues of voters formed outside polling stations and turnout was recorded at 75%. The opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, said early on Tuesday that he was “winning resoundingly”, a claim repeated by senior officials over the course of the day. His supporters gathered at their party’s headquarters in the capital during the afternoon, celebrating victory despite the lack of official results.

Full Article: Zimbabwe election: tensions rise amid vote rigging fears | World news | The Guardian.

Mali: Opposition frontrunner warns of potential fraud in presidential vote | AFP

The team of the leading opposition candidate in Mali’s upcoming presidential election claimed Friday that there were “substantial anomalies” in the electoral register and warned of a possible “massive attempt at fraud” in the 29 July vote. Speaking at a news conference in Bamako, the campaign manager of opposition frontrunner, Soumaila Cisse, said the electoral register published online on 4 July was “totally different” from the one audited by the International Organisation of Francophonie on 27 April. The number of names on the online register totalled 8,105,154 voters, more than the 8,000,462 counted by the IOF, campaign manager Tiebile Drame said.

Full Article: Mali opposition frontrunner warns of potential fraud in presidential vote.

Iraq: Parliament Approves Manual Recounting of Election Votes | Asharq AL-awsat

Iraq’s parliament successfully held its fourth emergency session to discuss election results on Monday, pushing the session until late afternoon while waiting for holding quorum. At least 165 lawmakers need to be attending for a parliamentary session to kick off legitimately. More so, the Iraqi parliament approved manual recounting of 10 percent of votes in the May 12 parliamentary election amid allegations of fraud, forgery and irregularities. If there is 25 percent difference between the results of the manual and electronic count, then all Iraqi provinces are to undergo a full manual recount.

Full Article: Iraqi Parliament Approves Manual Recounting of Election Votes | Asharq AL-awsat.

Malaysia: From dead voters to blackouts: Malaysia braces for ‘filthy’ poll | AFP

“Phantom” voters, electoral roll tampering, mysterious power blackouts during recounts — Malaysian activists are gearing up to battle widespread cheating at what they fear will be the dirtiest election in the country’s history. Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing a tough test at the May 9 poll due to a corruption scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB, discontent over rising living costs, and a challenge from veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad. While vote-rigging has plagued previous Malaysian elections, observers fear the high stakes mean that cheating by the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will be more rampant than ever before.

Full Article: From dead voters to blackouts: Malaysia braces for 'filthy' poll.

Editorials: Venezuela’s Elections Will Surely Be Rigged. So Why Run? | Americas Quarterly

Venezuela’s presidential elections, now set for May 20, are designed to help President Nicolás Maduro tighten his grip on power. Originally scheduled for late 2018, the administration brought forward the date of the election in a clear effort to capitalize on disharmony within the opposition. After getting trounced in October in provincial elections that were widely seen as fraudulent, most members of the opposition MUD coalition have decided not to participate in the coming contest. The government’s willingness to stuff ballots, break electoral rules and limit opposition voters from reaching the polls means there is almost no risk of Maduro losing.  But four opposition candidates, three from small parties and one independent, have nonetheless thrown their hats into the ring. Most prominent among them is Henri Falcón, a retired military officer and former Chavista politician who broke with the government and joined the opposition in 2010.

Full Article: Venezuela’s Elections Will Surely Be Rigged. So Why Run? | Americas Quarterly.

Russia: Who counted the votes in Russia? We checked. | The Washington Post

On March 18, 2018, Russians reelected President Vladimir Putin by a huge margin. Official reports say that 67 percent of voters went to the polls and that 76 percent of those supported the incumbent. This result comes as zero surprise, and media coverage has focused on the lack of true opposition candidates and allegations of ballot-stuffing. But there is more to this story. About 800,000 poll workers at more than 95,000 polling stations across Russia delivered basic administrative services for this election. This army of street-level bureaucrats verified voter identities, issued/counted the ballots and established the voting tallies at each precinct.  How did Sunday’s election look, behind the scenes? We tend to assume that poll workers, whether they are in South Dakota or the Northern Caucasus, are professional and independent. Put simply, we expect poll workers to leave aside their political biases and ensure that voting takes place according to fair and impartial procedures.

Full Article: Who counted the votes in Russia? We checked. - The Washington Post.

Poland: Lawmakers approve controversial electoral law | Associated Press

Poland’s lawmakers have approved a controversial electoral law that critics say will give the ruling party influence over the voting procedure and will allow more room for vote rigging. The lower house voted late Wednesday to approve the legislation that will govern elections, beginning with local elections this fall. It was proposed by the ruling conservative Law and Justice party and is seen as favoring it. The party took power after winning elections in 2015 and immediately set about changing much of Poland’s laws, including those governing the justice system. The changes in the judiciary have drawn strong criticism from European Union leaders who say they threaten Poland’s rule of law, and have opened a procedure that could strip the nation of its EU voting rights. The new electoral law is expected to add to Poland’s conflict with its EU partners.

Full Article: Poland's lawmakers approve controversial electoral law - ABC News.

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.

Full Article: Exclusive: At a Russian polling station, phantom voters cast ballots for the 'Tsar'.

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.

Full Article: Kenya: The Election & the Cover-Up | by Helen Epstein | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books.

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. 

Full Article: Kenya opposition outlines vote-rigging case ahead of court battle.

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.”

Full Article: Rwanda: Politically Closed Elections | Human Rights Watch.

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.

Full Article: Kenyatta Wins Big in Kenya–But U.S.-Style Election Skullduggery Taints the Results.

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.

Full Article: The Drama of Kenya's Presidential Election - The Atlantic.

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.

Full Article: IEBC staff bring down hammer on colleagues - Daily Nation.