A research team from the University of California, San Diego, has been experimenting with a method to decrease election fraud. During elections in Afghanistan and Uganda, the team started a program of taking pictures of voting ballots as they were cast. Perhaps more importantly, they alerted election organizers that they would be photographing ballots. The results of the experiment have been largely successful.
“…60% reduction in the theft of election materials and a 25% drop in votes for the most well-connected candidates when polling stations were warned that vote tallies would be monitored with photographs.”
The use of this method appears to yield impressive results for combating election fraud. Implementing this system in tandem with election monitors may yet yield even higher results. This type of innovation does not appear to necessitate high costs as a photographer and camera equipment may be all that is necessary for ensuring the appropriate use of the method.
While this innovation may prove to increase the costs of corruption, it might not enough to deter enterprising politicians. New methods of monitoring may simply mean that those who wish to tamper with elections have to develop new systems to jeopardize their validity.
Developed by The University of California