Colombia’s election observers warned on Sunday that voters were given tainted ballots that could disqualify their votes.
According to the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), voters were given ballots with signs in the square for the blank vote square, which is supposed to be left blank.
In a press conference, MOE director Alejandro Barrios warned that the tainted ballots “could lead to… the disqualification of votes.”
According to Barrios, the points and stripes reported by voters were printed on the ballots.
The electoral observation chief urged election jurors and witnesses to be be careful not to confuse the apparent errors with votes.
The warning spurred some supporters of opposition candidate Gustavo Petro to claim that the National Registry, which organizes the elections, “is preparing a fraud.”
#Alerta la @Registraduria prepara un fraude. 8 tarjetones ya venían marcados en la casilla en blanco. Si eso lo hicieron en todas las mesas estamos diciendo que el voto en blanco estaría alcanzando una cifra de 1 millon de votos. @FiscaliaCol debe investigar pic.twitter.com/G2z2eraK9J
— Alí Bantú Ashanti (@bantuashanti) June 19, 2022
In response to the alert, the National Registry urged voters to demand a new ballot in case they were given a tainted one.
The election organizer said that “the National Registry hands out the ballots without any kind of mark,” implying that jurors had printed the dots and stripes on the ballots.
Ciudadano elector, ten presente que la Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil entrega las tarjetas electorales sin ningún tipo de marcación.
Si te entregan una tarjeta electoral con alguna marcación, podrás pedir una nueva a los jurados de votación. pic.twitter.com/Eq6ErMc0u9
— Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil (@Registraduria) June 19, 2022
The National Registry bungled the congressional elections in March and contradicted other authorities about irregularities in the electoral process on previous occasions this year.
According to the MOE, the election organizer’s failure to adequately address issues that could threaten free and fair elections plummeted public confidence in the National Registry.
The latest irregularity comes only hours before the end of the second round of elections amid mounting fraud claims by the opposition and concerns about protests in the aftermath of the vote.