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So Much for Electoral Reform: BA Province Won’t Have Extra Ballots

By | [email protected] | October 2, 2015 5:37pm

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Remember how electoral authorities said that in order to avoid fraud in the upcoming general election, they’d be stocking dark rooms with extra ballots?

Well, that’s not happening. Or not in Buenos Aires Province, at least, where an electoral judge deemed the suggestion “impractical.”

August’s Tucumán meltdown, as we know all too well by now, brought some voting issues to light — namely, how it inspires pyromania in some and fraud in others.

So a few politicians (mainly Mauricio Macri and Sergio Massa) and electoral authorities (more specifically, members of the National Electoral Chamber) proposed some basic changes to ensure “fairer” elections.

One of these measures was to provide extra ballots at every voting station.

Why would this be necessary?

One recurring problem is tied to the manner in which ballots are presented. The “multiple ballot” system employed in the general election requires each political party to print its own ballots featuring all of its candidates for each office on a single sheet. This means that all Victory Front (FpV) candidates are printed on one piece of paper, all Cambiemos candidates on another, etc. So God forbid you decide not to tow the party line and, instead, mix and match various candidates. That would literally require you to take out a pair of scissors and cut up the ballot in order to select the candidates you’re interested in voting for.

But that’s not even the actual problem.

The real issue is that some voters end up stashing ballot sheets from parties they’re not voting for in their pockets and walking out of dark rooms with said sheets. At some point, someone wanting to vote for, say, a Workers’ Leftist Union (FIT) candidate will enter the dark room only to discover there are no more FIT ballots. And so that voter has no way of voting for a FIT candidate.

By having electoral authorities have some extra ballots handy, this problem would be eliminated.

But that won’t be happening.

Upon hearing the news, Cambiemos and A New Alternative attorneys have asked that each table in every voting station contain 100 additional ballots (as opposed to the previous 50 extra). They are still waiting on an answer.