Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quality of Election Administration, Part 3

The drama about the registration of 2,011 observers from Georgia continues, with a court ruling that the CEC registration denial was improper (UPDATE: the CEC plans to appeal). Reuters and other news agencies have also reported on opportunities to buy and sell votes online. You can read some of the ads yourself here on the craigslist of Ukraine (in Russian). Prices range from 200 grivnya ($25) to over 1000 ($125). Vote buying has a long tradition (Cox and Kousser's 1981 article on vote fraud in the United States notes that newspapers published the going rate for votes). But, with no real mechanism to guarantee the vote, and a relatively high cost in the advertisements, this method of vote buying/selling is unlikely to be a widespread problem. But, it makes good copy.

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