From Iceland — Constitutional Assembly Elections Ruled Invalid

Constitutional Assembly Elections Ruled Invalid

Published January 25, 2011

The Supreme Court of Iceland ruled just moments ago that elections for the constitutional assembly last November are no longer valid.
Numerous charges were filed from three different sources over how the elections themselves were conducted. Among the complaints were that:

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.

There were also concerns raised that candidates were not allowed to have a representative present at the counting of the ballots.
Today, the Supreme Court, taking these complaints into consideration, ruled that the elections themselves were then invalid.
The assembly as such will then not meet, and in fact even who will be on the assembly itself has been thrown into question.
New elections would have to be held in order to create a new assembly, but when – or even if – this will happen is still undetermined.
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