This video, filmed in a voting booth in Algeria, shows people repeatedly stamping their fingerprints on a register. It is visual proof of the voting violations that marred Thursday’s local elections.
This incident took place in the village of Bir Dheb, in northeast Algeria. The village’s name and the date are clearly visible on the ballot box shown in the video, as is the number of people that voted there: 229. According to Algeria’s electoral rules, each voter had to hand in their ballot, sign the official register and stamp their fingerprints twice. However, one man can be seen stamping his fingerprints on the official ledger about two dozen times. It’s impossible to tell from the video whether this man is a voter or whether he is working at the poll booth, but in any case, his behaviour doesn’t seem to bother anyone in the room.
Mohamed Seddiki, the president of the electoral commission that monitors local elections, admitted that there were voting “irregularities” at some polling stations. FRANCE 24 spoke to a local official from the town that oversees the village of Bir Dheb. He wished to remain anonymous, but said that this sort of fraud was not uncommon: “It happens in smaller towns and villages. These violations are often carried out by families who are battling to win local races, and so they don’t necessary implicate any political party.”
Votes have yet to be tallied – but whoever wins in Bir Dheb may well win by a large margin…