Sarthaks Test
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Here are some reports of electoral malpractices from different parts of the world. Is there anything that these countries can learn from India to improve their elections? What would you suggest in each case? 

(a) During an election in Nigeria, the officer-in-charge of counting votes deliberately increased the votes of one candidate and declared him elected. The court later found out that more than 5 lakh votes cast for one candidate were counted in favour of another. 

(b) Just before the elections in Fiji, a pamphlet was distributed warning voters that a vote for former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry will lead to bloodshed. This was a threat to voters of Indian origin. 

(c) In the US, each state has its own method of voting, its own procedure of counting and it own authority for conducting elections. Authorities in the state of Florida took many controversial decisions that favoured Mr. Bush in the Presidential elections in 2000. But no one could change those decisions. 

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1 Answer

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(a) The officer-in-charge during elections (counting) should have been impartial and should have ordered repoll. For voting there should be electronic machines so that no fraud could be done in counting. In the event of non-availability of electronic machines, the votes should be counted in presence of representatives of different candidates or political parties. Nigeria can learn this lesson from India.

(b) Such a thing is quite wrong against the spirit of a free and fair election. Firstly, the voters should never be threatened to cast their vote against their conscience. Secondly, if at all, any pamphlet was to be distributed then it should have been done at least 48 hours before the date of election a done in India. So Fiji can learn these lessons from India – not to intimidate the voters and even if such a thing happens, then the election can be postponed or cancelled. 

(c) In India, one and uniform rules are followed in all states as far as the method of voting, procedure of counting are concerned. Different rules, different authorities, and different procedures of counting lead to the ambiguity and vagueness and take away the sense of justice, which is one of the main principles of democracy. US can take some good points and lessons from India how to follow same rules, procedures etc. in all states and across the country.

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