NEC Workers at Polling Stations Follow Rules, Procedure

Election Day ran relatively smoothly throughout the country. As a rule, the 62,670 National Election Committee workers at the 12,534 polling stations followed procedures, and voting proceeded in an orderly fashion.

In Kompong Cham province, where more pre-election intimidation and violence was reported than anywhere else in the country, all seemed calm. Voters were moving in and out of the polls at a brisk pace, and by noon more than half of the people registered at 10 stations had cast their votes, according to one ob­server.

Some technical problems did surface. In Prey Veng province, five polling stations could not open because ballots were printed with the wrong NEC code. By law, the vote at those stations will have to take place within 30 days. NEC Secretary-General Im Suos­dey said he hopes to hold the balloting in about two weeks.

Two polling stations in Ban­teay Meanchey province and one in Phnom Penh used the wrong stamp to register ballots, said Koul Panha of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections. About 200 ballots had been stamped at the Phnom Penh station by the time it was noticed, making those votes invalid.

“NEC workers and observers were trying to find a solution,” said Koul Panha. If they agree among themselves, the votes could be saved, Im Suosdey said.

One polling station in Ratanak­kiri was short 100 ballots. Again, NEC workers and observers were trying to find a solution.

At a number of polling stations, voter lists contained mistakes, which created confusion and delays, according to Sunai Phasuk of the Asian Network for Free Elections. The mistakes were due to computer operator errors, said Im Suosdey, adding that polling stations should have the original handwritten lists as backups. Some stations did not, according to Sunai Phasuk.

One NGO observer said some mi­litary and police officers violated regulations in Phnom Penh by vo­ting wearing uniforms.

, which is against regulations.



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