From Iceland — Election Count Scandal Continues: Valid Ballots Found In "Empty Ballots" Box

Election Count Scandal Continues: Valid Ballots Found In “Empty Ballots” Box

Published October 29, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Adobe Stock

Sources close to Stundin report that ongoing parliamentary committee investigations into what exactly went wrong during last month’s ballot count in the Northwest District have revealed that some valid ballots had been sorted into a box reserved for blank ballots, casting further doubts on the validity of the election count in that district.

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As reported, a recount was called on the day after election night, specifically for this district. It further came to light that, on election night, many of the ballots for the Northwest District were not sealed.

The subsequent recount did end up changing the gender balance of Parliament, and also switched out some candidates for others, but did not otherwise affect the overall results of which parties won how many seats. However, the lack of sealed ballots did raise questions about the integrity of the count.

Furthermore, it later came to light that the daughter-in-law of the hotel manager for Hótel Borgarnes, where the ballot count for the Northwest District took place, posted photos to Instagram of the ballots—many of them unsealed—in an empty room. A campaign worker confirmed to reporters that she had been alone in the area at the time the photos were taken. While the photos have since been deleted, the incident did raise further questions about the integrity of the ballot count in the Northwest District.

Stundin further reports that there are strong indications that ballot counting had begun before polls had closed, which would be illegal.

The parliamentary committee conducting the investigation is still at work. At their conclusion, there will be a number of options available as to what happens next. These include letting the district’s first results stand, letting the subsequent district recount stand, holding new elections for the district, or holding new elections for the entire country.

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