Thu, Feb 02, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Election body denies it helped fix vote counts

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday dismissed reports that it had been involved in fixing vote counts, saying that vote counting in the Jan. 14 presidential election had been conducted in an “open and transparent” manner.

The commission urged netizens and local media to stop circulating false news and safeguard the nation’s image as a strong democracy. It issued the statement amid recent questions raised by netizens and media that the commission’s Web site showed the number of votes for presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) falling instead of rising at 9:03pm and 9:06pm on election night.

“The vote calculations by computer followed standard operating procedures, and any corrections during the process followed those procedures,” the commission said.

It said that any corrections have to be certified by executive officials at township and village-level election centers and then endorsed by the secretary-general of the city and county election commission before being sent to the vote-calculation unit of the commission.

“Making corrections during the vote-calculation process when errors are found is part of the normal procedure,” the commission said.

During the two specific times on election night mentioned by netizens and the local media, the vote count for Tsai went down, rather than up, to correct mistakes in the recording of votes for the presidential candidates, the commission said.

It added that the official vote count at each polling station was posted on the premises and copies were handed to political parties that nominated candidates or workers appointed by the candidates.

Ten days after the confirmed list of those who were elected was published, a report on the votes won by each candidate at each polling station was also sent to the candidates.

“The Central Election Commission has followed an open and transparent process in counting votes, and there was no unfairness as alleged by some media,” the commission said.

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