Ballot Tampering stuffing, A common practice in Haiti

Campaign season in Haiti is nearly always tense, with bi-partisan supporters of each party undercutting one other to get their candidate into office. A U.S. Department of Justice observer, who conducts immigration reviews for foreigners seeking refuge in the U.S., views the problem as two-fold.


First, voter-initiated fraud is driven by absence of a civil-service system, in which citizens can serve their communities in different capacities. Such positions are non-political and confer job stability. Not only is there job security, but also assurance of rising to higher levels of responsibility with commensurate pay.

But Haiti does not have a civil-service system for the second reason: it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, high on the list of the failed states index. This means secure-paying work is difficult to obtain. If a community's candidate for elective office wins, it offers increased possibilities for finding work. It affects whether or not children can attend school, or members of family get emergency care.

During the 2010 election, supporters were so desperate to get their guy into office that ballot-stuffing took place in the presence of news media, campaign officials, and victimized parties. The outraged candidates demanded another election. The island, boiling over with citizen unrest, forced authorities to shut down much of the country.

The politically-appointed Electoral Council picked two run-off candidates, after a firestorm of controversy erupted over who they should be. Current President Michel Martelly emerged victorious. Haiti is not democracy in action, but anarchy, standard operating procedure for beleaguered Haiti.

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Read more: Election, Haiti Election, Ballot, Election Violence, Election Tips, Election Fraud, Ballot Tampering, Ballot Stuffing, Civil Service, Election

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