In election in Mexico widely seen a test of political sentiment for next year’s presidential run-off will likely head to the court. The race for governor in the State of Mexico was largely a contest between the leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has held on to its seat for about 90 years. While a count of nearly all the votes gives the PRI candidate a narrow three-point lead, widespread accusations of voter fraud and intimidation have called the results into question. For now, both candidates are claiming victory.Full Article: Two Candidates Declare Victory in Mexico State Election - The Atlantic.
Independent election observers praised Sunday’s running of the nationwide commune elections as largely smooth and peaceful, even while noting a raft of problems, including unauthorized officials at polling sites, intimidated observers and soldiers being brought to vote at some polling stations by the truckload. Dubbed the “Situation Room,” the coalition of NGOs that teamed up to send some 14,000 observers across the country described the voting as “smooth, safe and peaceful” but marred by “some minor irregularities.” Recounting one of the day’s most flagrant breaches, Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said 12 observers across two communes in Kandal province’s Loeuk Dek district were pressured into abandoning their duties by local authorities.Full Article: Independent Observers Say ‘Smooth’ Vote Still Marred by Problems - The Cambodia Daily.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Turkey on Thursday to answer questions raised by European observers over a referendum that expanded President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers and also said the EU must reflect on what future ties it wants with Ankara. A report by observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe found that up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in Turkey’s April 16 referendum, which ended in a narrow victory for Erdogan’s push for greater powers. “The Turkish government must measure itself based on this report and answer the questions raised in it,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. “We will very carefully follow how Turkey deals with reports of possible irregularities.”Full Article: Merkel urges Turkey to respond to reported referendum irregularities | Reuters.
A village leader shoves four voting slips into a ballot box. An unknown arm marks three slips with a “yes” vote. An unknown hand adds five more. An election official validates a pile of voting slips — hours after they were meant to be validated. These are four of the scenes captured in unverified videos that have helped stoke accusations of voting fraud in polling stations across Turkey during Sunday’s referendum to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan’s “yes” campaign has claimed victory by a small margin — 51.4 percent to 48.6 — in a vote that further insulates the president from scrutiny and tightens his grip on one of the most influential countries in the region. But while Mr. Erdogan has turned his claimed victory into a political reality, the legitimacy of his win is still in question.Full Article: Videos Fuel Charges of Fraud in Erdogan’s Win in Turkey Referendum - The New York Times.
International election monitors have criticized a Turkish referendum that has brought sweeping new powers to the presidency, saying the campaign was conducted on an “unlevel playing field” and that the vote count was marred by late procedural changes. Observers from the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said in a joint statement on April 17 that the legal framework for the referendum “remained inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic referendum.” Turkey’s Central Election Committee (CEC) late on April 16 declared the “yes” camp as the winner with 51.3 percent of votes.Full Article: International Monitors Say Turkey's Referendum Tainted, Vote Count Marred.
Up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in Sunday’s Turkish referendum which ended in a tight ‘Yes’ vote for greater presidential powers, Alev Korun, an Austrian member of the Council of Europe observer mission, told ORF radio on Tuesday. The mission of observers from the 47-member Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights body, had already said the referendum was an uneven contest. Support for “Yes” dominated campaign coverage, and the arrests of journalists and closure of media outlets silenced other views, the monitors said. But Korun said there were questions about the actual voting as well.Full Article: Observer says 2.5 million Turkish referendum votes could have been manipulated | Reuters.
Serbia’s electoral commission was forced to hold a televised recount of some votes after opposition challenger Sasa Jankovic disputed PM Aleksandar Vucic’s poll results in 25 constituencies. The Republic Electoral Commission recounted votes from two polling stations in front of TV cameras on Sunday after allegations of irregularities were raised by opposition presidential candidate Sasa Jankovic. The recount was urged by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who won last Sunday’s presidential elections and denies any electoral fraud. The recount of votes from the two polling stations showed that Vucic received four fewer votes than initially counted, but is unlikely to resolve opposition concerns about the vote.Full Article: Serbian Presidency Candidates Spar Over ‘Poll Irregularities :: Balkan Insight.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Many irregularities in second round of Georgia’s election for parliament | Democracy & Freedom Watch
In parts of Georgia, voters went to the polls again on Sunday in the second round of the parliamentary election. There were runoff contests in 50 single-seat districts, accounting for a third of the seats in the assembly. Voting took place against a background of some minor and a few serious irregularities. The outcome of today’s vote will decide if the election winner in the first round, Georgian Dream, will get enough seats to have what’s called a constitutional majority and usher in a ban on same-sex marriage and limit the president’s powers. The number of precincts open for voting was 2,229. Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA), said that by 14:00 their observers had noticed different types of violations. The Tbilisi-based organization filed 33 complaints and 25 notices today. There is tension in the village Kizilajo in Marneuli, where the results of the first round were abolished due to a riot-like incident. Georgian Dream and National Movement candidate are competing in this region.Full Article: Many irregularities in second round of Georgia's election for parliament - Democracy & Freedom Watch | Elections | Democracy & Freedom Watch.
Election Systems & Software (ES&S) has released a report on its findings related to errors in the Hill County Republican Primary. The report comes amidst an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Ken Paxton into irregularities with the vote totals reported in the election. Last month, Direct Action Texas discovered that the number of reported votes in the Hill County Republican Primary exceeded by more than 1700 the number of voters the county reported had shown up at the polls. ES&S, which supplies electronic voting machines and other election services to Hill County, was asked by the county to investigate the error. ES&S found that early voting ballot cast totals were incorrect by the same amount as the number of absentee ballots cast, and Election Day ballot cast totals were incorrect by the same number of paper ballots that were voted during early voting.Full Article: Report on Hill County Election Released | Empower Texans℠.
Voting machines in western Hidalgo County were “either faulty or tampered with” to rig the Democratic Party primary runoff election, according to a lawsuit filed Monday. Bail bondsman Arnaldo Corpus — who challenged Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Place 2 Marcos Ochoa in the primary — filed the lawsuit. Ochoa won 54 percent of 6,625 ballots cast, defeating Corpus, according to results published by the Hidalgo County Elections Department. Corpus, though, claims the Elections Department count isn’t correct.Full Article: Lawsuit claims Hidalgo County voting machines 'either faulty or tampered with' | KGBT.
Maryland: About 1,650 ballots handled improperly in Baltimore election, state review finds | Baltimore Sun
About 1,650 ballots cast in Baltimore’s primary election were handled improperly, a state review has found — prompting some to question the validity of the election results. The State Board of Elections concluded that 1,188 provisional ballots were inappropriately scanned into the vote tally on Election Day — without judges verifying that the voters were eligible — and 465 other provisional ballots were not considered. The board’s findings were released Monday. “In many ways, this is worse than what anybody thought,” said the Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, an activist with Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections, or VOICE. “Although we knew there was a problem, we did not know it was to this magnitude. The citizens deserve better.”Full Article: About 1,650 ballots handled improperly in Baltimore election, state review finds - Baltimore Sun.
About 1,000 more votes were cast during Baltimore’s primary election than there were voters who checked in at the polls, an ongoing state review has found. State elections officials said Thursday that workers examining Baltimore’s election have uncovered “significant” problems. They have found more than 450 provisional ballots that were not considered by election judges. And nearly 800 provisional ballots — given to voters whose eligibility is in question — were improperly counted before eligibility was verified, officials said. Most of the problems were caused by untrained judges scanning ballots into the system that they shouldn’t have, said Linda H. Lamone, Maryland’s elections administrator. The state might not get to the bottom of every problem, she told the State Board of Elections. “There will be precincts that cannot be explained,” Lamone said. “We don’t know what happened. The numbers simply don’t match.”Full Article: State review finds 'significant' irregularities in Baltimore election - Baltimore Sun.
Maryland: Investigation into Baltimore elections irregularities nearing an end, state says | Baltimore Sun
State officials said Wednesday their review of Baltimore’s primary election was nearing an end, as they continued to investigate why votes outnumbered check-ins at the polls. Nikki Baines Charlson, deputy administrator at the State Board of Elections, said she expected workers to finish the review Thursday. Officials have focused on 60 precincts — about a fifth of the city’s 296 — where irregularities were “significantly” greater than in other Maryland jurisdictions. “There are probably only 20 precincts left that haven’t been reviewed at all,” Charlson said Wednesday. “We will have looked at 100 percent of the precincts by tomorrow.” Charlson said officials planned to present their preliminary findings at a meeting Thursday of the State Board of Elections.Full Article: Investigation into Baltimore elections irregularities nearing an end, state says - Baltimore Sun.
Mayfield resident John Raine, the first in line at his polling place on Election Day last month, can understand why the city’s election results are now in question. When Raine, 30, checked his ballot folder, he saw that poll workers had given him five blank ballots. And when he approached the scanner machine, no election judges were around. “I could have scanned in all five,” he said. “But I didn’t. I called the judge over.” Voters like Raine are feeling less confidence in the electoral system these days, as the state steps in to review irregularities at some polling places during the April 26 primary. With elections ever more partisan and many highly contested races ending in narrow vote margins, election watchers say people are more concerned than ever about ballots being tallied accurately.Full Article: Election snafus leave voters wondering if their votes were counted - Baltimore Sun.
Facing accusations of fraud and disenfranchisement, the New York City Board of Elections voted unanimously last week to certify the results of New York’s hotly contested April 19 presidential primary. But the results are sure to leave many unsatisfied. The board threw out nearly 91,000 of the 121,056 provisional ballots cast by voters who had been unable to vote on primary day either because their names were taken off the rolls or because their party affiliation had been dropped or switched to a different party without their knowing. So roughly three-quarters of the affidavits were deemed invalid and not counted, according to the tallies posted on the Board of Elections Web site last Friday. That’s in addition to all those who did not file affidavits because they were not aware they could or because their polling places ran out of them.Full Article: Elections chief defends botched N.Y. primary; Challenges loom | The Villager Newspaper.
A second Brooklyn Board of Elections official is expected to be suspended Thursday over New York’s primary day snafu that led many voters to be turned away at the polls. Betty Ann Canizio-Aqil, a BOE chief clerk in Brooklyn, is expected to be suspended after a vote at 3:30 pm by the board’s commissioners, sources told the Daily News.Full Article: Board of Elections will suspend second clerk amid primary debacle - NY Daily News.
Hundreds of Serbian opposition supporters rallied in Belgrade on Saturday demanding a nationwide recount of last weekend’s election ballots, the resignation of the election commission or a re-run of the vote, claiming fraud and irregularities. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who wants to take Serbia into the European Union, won Sunday’s election with 48.24 percent of the vote, roughly unchanged from 2014. But his Progressive Party’s majority in parliament was reduced as more parties attained the five percent vote threshold needed for seats. Left-wing and ultra-nationalist opposition parties teamed up on Saturday to protest in front of the election commission office, chanting “We want our votes” and “This is fraud”.Full Article: Serbian opposition rallies in Belgrade demanding election recount | Reuters.
Peru’s election, wrought with allegations of fraud and the questionable application of campaign rules that shrouded the final weeks before voting day in uncertainty, has garnered a stern report from observers, who have called for deep reforms to the country’s electoral system, local media reported Tuesday. The Organization of American States mission found that Sunday’s general elections were threatened by political insecurity for voters brought on by the last-minute disqualifications and lasting uncertainty about who would be on the ballot up to 48 hours before polls open. The mission called for an overhaul of the disqualifications system, arguing that in its current form, electoral authorities are not able to guarantee the political rights of voters or candidates.Full Article: OAS: Peru's Electoral System Needs Deep Reforms for Democracy | News | teleSUR English.
A commission charged with evaluating Haiti’s Oct. 25 presidential and legislative elections has found that egregious irregularities and a high presumption of fraud plagued the vote, while the electoral machine requires sweeping changes in order to hold a postponed runoff. According to official results, government-backed candidate Jovenel Moïse received 32.76 percent of the votes while Jude Célestin, the former head of the state construction agency, garnered 25.29 percent. Célestin, however, called the results a “ridiculous farce” and refused to campaign. Alleging vote-rigging and ballot-stuffing, Célestin and other opposition candidates called for an independent Haitian-led commission to probe the disputed balloting. The commission was created by President Michel Martelly on Dec. 22, five days before the postponed second round. On Sunday morning, members issued their findings, which critics say do not resolve the political crisis despite pointing out a series of major systemic problems besieging Haitian society.Full Article: Haiti presidential vote plagued by irregularities, report finds | Miami Herald.
Protesters have streamed into the capital’s streets in recent weeks in sometimes violent rallies to back opposition demands for an independent recount of the first round of Haiti’s presidential vote and immediate changes to an electoral council. That fervor isn’t shared by many in this impoverished country, however, and analysts worry widespread voter apathy is threatening the latest attempt to shore up Haiti’s fragile democracy. The malaise during this year’s three-round electoral cycle is occurring while nearly all public offices are up for grabs. Food vendor Minouche Jean didn’t vote in the first round of the presidential election in late October and won’t cast a ballot in the runoff that is scheduled for Dec. 27. She has no interest in a process that seems to matter so little in her daily life.Full Article: Many in Haiti Expect to Sit out Presidential Runoff Election