Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mark Colombian Elections

Featured Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mark Colombian Elections

While some voting stations ran out of ballots, social media users also posted numerous videos showing alleged irregularities including vote buying.

Colombia's legislative elections and interparty primaries have created a stir in the South American nation, after major irregularities were reported by NGOs, candidates and social media users.

RELATED: Live Updates: Colombia Polls Close, Irregularities Reported 

The Electoral Observer Mission (OEM) – which had warned of the risk of fraud in hundreds of municipalities in the run-up to the elections –reported numerous inconsistencies as videos surfaced on social media appearing to show vote-buying and other fraudulent activities.

"Unauthorized information desks" had been set up in front of polling stations in various towns "with lists of voters and transportation ready to receive them," the OEM said. 

The OEM also highlighted the lack of accreditation "generating protests": at least 141 towns registered more voters than inhabitants, especially in the provinces of Antioquia, Boyaca and Santander. In addition, 30 percent of voters surveyed by the mission said they could not cast their ballots in secret.

@moecolombia #EleccionesColombia Balance de #ObservaciónMOE en el 30% de los cubículos destinados para que la gente vote no garantizaban que la votación se realizara de manera secreta. #PilasConElVoto 

The National Civil Registry said ballots had run out in Medellin, Cucuta and Manizales, but voters could use photocopies: "An agreement was reached with the political parties and movements, due to the budget restriction and they authorized the continuation of the procedure with photocopies," said Juan Carlos Galindo.

Other users on social media also posted numerous videos showing alleged irregularities including vote buying.

Presidential frontrunner, Gustavo Petro, repeated Sunday that electoral authorities failed to organize the process with transparency, complaining about the shortage of cards for registered voters.

"We already knew that the office of registration was not capable of transparency in the elections," he told reporters after casting his vote in the south of Bogota.

The former mayor of the capital was surrounded by almost 100 people shouting: "I came here because they did not pay for my vote."

"The jury in polling offices have systematically denied left-wing voters the registration card," Petro said, noting that the lack of transparency will affect the election of left-wing and right-wing coalition candidates alike.

3. Hiding Ballots:

Supporters of Gustavo Petro say the ballots for the primaries of the"Social inclusion for peace" were hidden from voters, leaving only those of the right-wing coalition available to voters.

@teleSURtv | Electorado colombiano denuncia por parte de la Registraduría en distintas regiones de la nación. Aquí se observa como los jurados esconden los tarjetones de la consulta

 @teleSURtv | Ciudadano colombiano denuncia que tarjetón de la Consulta de Inclusión Social para la paz era ocultada por algunos funcionarios en las mesas de votación

4. Not extending voting hours:

Despite all the irregularities that delayed the process, some voters had to leave without voting because of the lack of cards as polls closed at 4:00 p.m. local time.

@teleSURtv | "Fraude, fraude, fraude", fueron los cantos que se escucharon contra la Registraduría en distintos centros de votación de la nación

Last modified onMonday, 12 March 2018 13:48

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