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Tomishiro Assembly elections go awry, new vote urged

Date Posted: 2002-09-28

It’s not only people of Florida who manage to mess up an election. And it does not take fancy electronic devices to do that. A misplaced box is enough. Election administration committee officials counting votes of Tomishiro City Assembly election on Sep. 22 realized that no matter how many times they counted the votes, they always came 1,600 votes short of what should have been the total.

Investigation concluded that the missing votes were absentee ballots that had been cast prior to the election day. The ballots had been placed in a box that had been kept in the city office, and at that point someone remembered that the box was still under an office table. As the absentee votes had not been placed in an official ballot box by the deadline as required by law, Election Committee Chairman Eikichi Akamine declared the votes null and void. That decision does not sit well with many residents, and even less with some candidates who lost the election. They are demanding that those votes be counted, or if that cannot be done, the election should be declared faulty and a new election organized.

The Election Committee decided to suspend the election results for at least until Tuesday, and get advice from lawyers. Lawyer Norio Ikemiyagi says that as the law clearly indicates that those votes cannot be counted any more, a new election should take place. “Declaring these 1,600 votes invalid is a problem because it infringes people’s right to vote. Another problem is that it might well affect the election results with some candidates losing because all votes were not counted. I think we should have a new election,” Ikemiyagi said.

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