From Iceland — Charges Being Filed Against Constitutional Assembly To Supreme Court

Charges Being Filed Against Constitutional Assembly To Supreme Court

Published December 22, 2010

Three unnamed parties have filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of Iceland that the constitutional assembly elections were illegal and invalid because they broke a number of election regulations.
While the charges were filed earlier this month, Fréttablaðið has released what, specifically, the allegations against the election organisers are. A resident of Neskaupstaður lodged the following grievances:

1. The ballots themselves were numbered. Conceivably, those who were handing out the ballots to voters could make a note of who had which numbered ballot, and be able to see later how that person voted. This is in violation of Icelandic law, which states that all voting must be secret.
2. There were no voting booths per se – an enclosed space with a curtain – but rather, desks separated by sheets of paper. This, the complaint alleges, could make it easy for people sitting next to each other to see how the other person was voting, which again violates Icelandic voter privacy laws.
3. It was not possible to change your voting district, as has been possible in previous elections.
4. Paper boxes were used instead of traditional ballot boxes. This could make ballot tampering, ballot stuffing, and ballot theft far easier to accomplish.
5. Voters were not allowed to fold their ballots in half. By regulations, folding the ballot is in fact required, in order to help voter privacy.

A resident of Borgarbyggð raised points number one, two and five above, and added that 14 candidates had not acquired the bare minimum of votes needed to actually qualify. A resident of Reykjavík added that in previous elections, a representative of the candidate has been allowed to supervise the counting process, but that this was forbidden in the constitutional assembly election.
The Supreme Court has informed Ástráður Haraldsson, the national voting director, as well as Minister of Justice Ögmundur Jónasson, of the charges.
There has been displeasure with the constitutional assembly election and campaign process brought up in recent days. Many candidates who took part in a recent poll said they did not believe the government did enough to inform the public about the elections or the candidates’ platforms.
Related articles:
Most Constitutional Assembly Candidates Displeased With Experience
Meet the Constitutional Assembly
Constitutional Assembly Elected
Low Voter Turnout, Mixed Messages

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