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News > Colombia

Colombia: National Registrar Criticized Over Rigged Elections

  • Colombia's National Registrar Alexander Vega. March. 14, 2022.

    Colombia's National Registrar Alexander Vega. March. 14, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@Cuyabro_30

Published 14 March 2022

Colombia's National Registrar Alexander Vega was subjected to considerable criticism on Sunday after the congressional elections on Sunday, which were rigged due to technical failures. 

The congressional elections were plagued with failures. Many people filed complaints because they were not registered to vote in the polls where they wanted to cast their votes. Moreover, a breakdown of the computer system made it impossible to verify the location of polling stations. 

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The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) indicated that there were problems in 85% of the voting tables. Citizens had difficulties to vote because in some occasions their voting table was moved without prior notification, others because their identity card was not registered in the table where they were supposed to vote or they changed tables and did not perform the proper biometric verification. 

According to reports of the MOE, voters who were properly registered could not vote in the presidential primaries because election officials were not properly trained. The MOE has disclosed that the voter registration difficulties stem from failures that occurred in January and were never fixed.

Esteban Salazar, political scientist of think tank Paz y Reconciliacion remarked that some technical problems were known six months ago already.  He affirmed that it is a shame that National Registrar Alexander Vega remains in his post. Salazar also said that Vega's unfounded statement that the computer system had suffered an attack was an excuse.

The MOE declined to confirm the conspiracy theory of the national registrar and appealed to solve the remaining problems before the presidential elections in May. 

The entity also reiterated that it is necessary for the National Registrar's Office to review and adjust the processes of consolidation of the electoral census and the operation of the information tools for citizens in view of the presidential elections.

Despite evidence indicating that the congressional elections were rigged, Alexander Vega insisted that all tables and polling stations in the country and the world functioned normally.

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