There are three entitites in Europe that do not meet the standards of transparent elections. I’m talking about Azerbaijan, Belarus and the European Broadcasting Union.
From the International Eleection Observation Mission in November 2005:
IEOM observers assessed the ballot counting process as bad or very bad in 43 percent of counts observed. They noted a wide range of serious violations, including tampering with results protocols (15 percent), result protocols completed with pencil (15 percent), intimidation of observers (17 percent) and unauthorized persons directing the process (14 percent). The results protocols were not posted in 54 percent of the counts observed, as required by law.
The tabulation of results at constituency level was, overall, assessed as bad or very bad in 31 percent of the ConECs visited. By 11:00 hours on 7 November, the CEC had not posted any polling station protocols on its website.
From the Belarus Digest in November 2012:
When the polling station closes for voters, each member of an election committee gets several hundreds ballots to count. Afterwards, he or she writes down the voting result on a sheet of paper and passes it to the committee chairperson in silence. All other members of the election committee do the same. Thus, nobody announces their results. Members of an election committee do not even know the results of their colle?agues’ counting.
Finally the chairperson announces the overall result. At the same time, the observers have no way to verify the figures. Belorussian democratic activists often call chairperson officers magicians for such tricks. The only difference is that magicians pull rabbits out of their hats, while commission chairperson pull election results.
Unlike Azerbaijan and Belarus, the EBU doesn’t even pretend to provide a free, fair and transparent vote. Instead they declare final vote counts for each country not even breaking out the jury and televote. And when details leak, the final tally sometimes does not add up, the jury composition does not meet the requirements, etc.
It’s a sad day when Azerbaijan is the one claiming voting irregularities.
Jon Ola Sand has stated:
The millions of viewers in Europe and the contestants, who have put heart and soul into their performances, deserve a fair and transparent result.
Yes they do. Hopefully EBU can follow up on Sand’s statement and provide what the Inter-Parliamentary Union lists as the minimum requirements of a free and fair election:
Furthermore, State authorities should ensure that the ballot is conducted so as to avoid fraud or other illegality, that the security and the integrity of the process is maintained, and that ballot counting is undertaken by trained personnel, subject to monitoring and/or impartial verification.
PWC is not independent, they are paid by EBU and as we learned with Enron, the accounting firms will report whatever their paymasters direct them to report.
I’m not saying there was fraudulent voting. Nor am I saying there wasn’t. We don’t know. And it’s quite possible EBU doesn’t know either. EBU needs to release the raw vote.
David is a Colorado-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com Follow the team from WiwiBloggs.com on Twitter @wiwibloggs.