754 irregularities reported as Colombia elections end

Posted on Mar 9 2014 - 9:48pm by Rico
(Photo: Caracol TV)

As polling stations of Colombia’s 2014 congressional elections close their doors, the country’s Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) reports 858 irregularities and cases of electoral fraud until 3 PM.

Between 11 AM to 3 PM, MOE received 754 further reports of irregularities from those collected earlier today.

Reports of voter corruption — or the buying of votes — have reached a total of 140 so far, representing 17% of total fraud between 11 AM and 3 PM.

MORE: Voting closes in Colombia with little violence, extensive fraud reported

There have been a total of 44 reports of illegal political intervention by public workers. The highest occurrences of political intervention this afternoon were in local administrations in the states of Valle, Tolima, Antioquia and Cauca.

In addition there were a further 35 reports of coercion, threats in support of a particular candidacy or political organization, or attempts to stop citizens from voting.

MORE: Observers in Colombia report 150 allegations of voter fraud amid relatively calm elections

Although it is illegal for those running for Congress to publicize their candidacy on election day, 232 cases of illegal political advertising were reported, both within or around polling stations. The cities with the most reports from 11 AM to 3 PM were Bogota, Ibague, Pasto, Medellin, Pereira, Manizales, Bucaramanga and Cali.

Another 104 reports were received this afternoon for failure to comply with the electoral process, while 58 reports were registered in 35 municipalities regarding issues with the voting juries.

At international polling stations, MOE found that in the polling stations of Sao Paulo, Brasil; Barcelona, Spain; and Lima, Peru there were no ballot cards available for the Green Party primary — the vote to determine which of the party’s three candidates will run for presidency in May’s elections.

In Valencia, Venezuela, an insufficient number of ballot cards were reported, and this situation was resolved. In addition there were alleged reports that peoples’ votes were being bought.

MORE: Colombia closes borders during elections amid accusations of Venezuelan criminal incursions

Barcelona and Lima experienced problems with the number of supervising personnel present at the opening and closing of the polling stations. There were reports both of absence of the jury, and of many consulate workers during the vote count.

Many Colombian citizens in Madrid, Spain, missed out on the chance to cast their vote because there was only one voting station in the consulate.

Of the stations observed by MOE, 47% had a biometric identification system. Where this was used, 92% of reports mentioned that the citizens were asked for their ID cards to compare them with the Election Registry’s database.

In 88% of polling stations, this check was carried out for all voters before they entered the booths.

MOE will continue to collect information until the final count has been made. The observers’ second report today counted on the monitoring of 37 regional coordinators in 383 of the country’s municipalities.

In addition to the earlier Inspector General’s Office release that reported 61 complaints, a further report outlines a total of 189 cases of irregularities at the end of the polling period. The main issues were cases of illegal intervention by public workers and illegal publicity.

Sources

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