Saturday, March 19, 2011

Irregularities in Egyptian vote?

So far, everyone that I have spoken to in the streets have told me they either plan to vote "no," or already have voted "no." I heard reports yesterday that local mosques in and around Hurghada have been handing out pamphlets telling people that voting "yes" is a religious obligation. Which, of course, it is not. But it rings of tactics of the Mubarak regime; using faith as a means of furthering political aims.

With this in mind, I was not surprised to read this on al-Jazeera today. It will be interesting what results come out of the vote throughout the country today! Make sure if you haven't already that you check out my post from yesterday, featuring the voice of a Revolutionary Youth and his impressions of what the voting today may bring about!

Irregularities in Egyptian vote?

By Gregg Carlstrom

Three hours into Egypt's constitutional referendum, we're hearing reports of high turnout - and potential irregularities.
Voters have reported long lines (see the photos below), with some predicting an hours-long wait to cast their votes. That's mostly been viewed as a positive development, a sign of high voter enthusiasm - a major change from last year's fraudulent parliamentary election, which saw turnout as low as 10 per cent in some parts of the country.
But some voters are reporting a more serious problem: unstamped ballot papers.
Each ballot needs an official stamp on the back, or it can be thrown out as illegitimate. What we're hearing is that some polling centres in Cairo and its suburbs are distributing unstamped papers. In some cases, election judges will (when asked) provide stamped papers; in other cases, they refuse, offering instead to sign the ballots - which does not legitimize them.
Here's a photo of how the stamp should look: The green heading says "stamp of the committee," and underneath is an ink stamp from the local election committee.
File 16171
We've heard these reports of unstamped ballots in Giza, Mohandiseen, 6th of October City, as well as several polling centres in Alexandria.
Here are a couple of photos of queues that have been posted online; the first is from Giza, the second from Cairo:
File 16211File 16191

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