Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Elections! Elections!

As with many things in Malawi, the elections were filled with significant contrasts. The more traditional, uncomplicated world of majority rural Malawi contrasted with aspects of modernizing urban Malawi.

The stories below give a taste of the contrasting situation:

· Spilled ink disqualifies ballots – Eager voters spilled ink on ballots resulting in ten percent of ballots at one polling center to be null and void. Read story here

· Counting ballots by candle lightThe Daily Times midday elections special edition reported that polling staff at Kapeni primary school were counting ballots by candlelight last night. They were unable to get the supplied generator working and the batteries for the back-up flashlights did not work, so candles were purchased and the work continued.

· Wind blows away ballots in Lilongwe – In the capital city, the wind carried away a significant number of completed ballots. Electoral staff were only able to recover three-quarters of the ballots. Read story here

· Clear transparent plastic boxes used for holding ballots – Transparent elections!

· Two major websites posting results and giving election related information
Malawi Electoral Commission – official site of electoral body
African Elections Project – Organization focused on training for use of media as a tool for election coverage
· Internet based radio station focused on Malawi diaspora giving out results live over the internet
Listen to Radio Yako

· Flicker photo stream dedicated to elections – images
See photos here

· Two twitter accounts twittering election results and stories

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