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Where is my vote?

Posted By Daniel Fuchs On June 10, 2010 @ 5:10 am In Centerfold | Comments Disabled

Corruption; fraud; disappointment. A cold wind has swept through the world this last year, a result of the malicious desires of very powerful figures. Voting booths in countries around the world- such as Iran, Britain, Honduras and Iraq- were rigged, tweaked, and declared invalid. Politicians have abused their relationship with their country’s citizens. Thousands upon thousands have been deprived of a meaningful vote in their elections- of their voice being represented in the government. In the United States, people demand “Vote or Die. Outside of this country’s privileged boundaries, people are willing to die to make their votes count.

Iran:

Perhaps the most violent and public display of a tampering with ballots, the June 2009 Iranian elections resulted in incredible controversy.

The race, which was essentially a contest between incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a member of the Abadgaran Party, and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, a member of the Independent Reformist Party, ended in a landslide 62% win by Ahmadinejad.

While there is no concrete evidence of fraud, a great deal of evidence has been presented that shows that the election was, in fact, rigged by Ahmadinejad’s party in some way. It is not clear how or to what extent the results were rigged or tweaked, though according to reported results, Ahmadinejad won every single province.

The results were announced a mere two hours after polls had closed, which seems odd due to the 40 million ballots cast. There were also irregularities between polls and the election results themselves; some polls indicated a victory for Mousavi, whereas others that predicted a victory for Ahmadinejad indicated results that were vastly different from the final election results.

The Internet was shut off across Iran both during and after elections for some time, despite massive protests from the Iranian people following the election. Many nations or international groups, including the United States and European Union have expressed doubts over the results.

Iraq:

The Independent High Electoral Council of Iraq- or IHEC- has declared the Iraqi parliamentary elections, held in March 2010, legal despite major controversy.

The three largest of the political parties in the election were the al-Iraqiya Party, which previously held 37 seats on the Iraqi parliament, the State flaw Coalition, and the Iraqi National Alliance, which previously held 128 seats.

Before the election, there were major changes in the structure of voting to allow for a more democratic process; the “open list ballot was used, meaning that voters would choose individuals for specific seats rather than voting only for parties. In January, over 450 candidates were banned due to associations with the Ba’ath party, which Saddam Hussein led.

Polls released before the election predicted a win by the State of Law Coalition, though in the end, the al-Iraqiya Party won the majority of seats, taking 24.92%–or 91 seats. By comparison, the State of Law Coalition took 24.22% (82 seats), and the Iraqi National Alliance took 70 seats.

There were multiple fraud allegations after the elections, accusing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’€a member of the State of Law Coalition’€of rigging the elections, registering 800 million fake names to vote. In April 2010, a recount was issued, and in May, the IHEC, an organization supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, declared that the results were not fraudulent.

Honduras:

In the aftermath of the military coup against former President Manuel Zelaya, Honduras’ November 2009 elections became the center of global controversy. Five months earlier, President Zelaya was exiled from the country following scheduling a poll to discuss assembling citizens to rewrite the nation’s constitution.

Many nations and international organizations, including the United States and the United Nations, have both condemned the action and placed embargos on Honduras. Venezuela declared that it would shut down shipments of oil unless the former President was to be reinstated. Robert Micheletti became the de facto leader of Honduras until a new leader could be declared.

The election ended in a landslide 56.56 percent victory for Porfirio Lobo, leader of the National Party of Honduras, followed by a 38 percent vote for Elvin Santos of the Liberal Party of Honduras. Candidate Carlos Reyes withdrew from the election, declaring the results fraudulent. Many citizens also believe that the near-60 percent result for Lobo was false. Despite condemnation of the coup, several nations, including the United States, have declared support for the elections due to the effectiveness of the transition and the fairness of the elections themselves.

Britain:

One of the biggest voting problems during this election was that the electoral roll had not been updated in several cities, meaning that hundreds of eligible voters were incorrectly not registered to vote. In addition, citizens out of the country, namely in New Zealand, did not receive absentee ballots in time to place their votes.

Typically, each parliamentary region of the UK votes for a Parliamentary Minister. The leader of the party with the most votes will then be given permission by the acting Monarch to begin forming a government. In this election, however, it became clear that a “hung parliament’€in which there is no clear majority in terms of votes’€was imminent.

As a result, the three major party leaders began discussions to determine how the new government would be formed. In the end, Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister, sent his resignation to the Queen, suggesting to her that David Cameron be given the responsibility to form the new government. Sub-sequentially, the other candidates, Cameron and Clegg, each formed a coalition for their own parties to form the new government.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/where-is-my-vote/

URLs in this post:

[1] Egyptian elections criticized: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/egyptian-elections-criticized/

[2] Iraqi Elections Stir Turmoil: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/03/24/iraqi-elections-stir-turmoil/

[3] News analysis: voter participation to determine governor race: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/news-analysis-voter-participation-to-determine-governor-race/

[4] Obama ignites Kenyan pride while masking deeper conflict: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/obama-ignites-kenyan-pride-while-masking-deeper-conflict/

[5] Tea Party gains influence after midterm elections: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/tea-party-gains-influence-after-midterm-elections/

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