An independent investigation by the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), a Colombian NGO that monitors elections, found no evidence of widespread fraud in the May 30 presidential vote, Semana reported Thursday.
The MOE opened an investigation after independent researchers posted on Facebook what they called evidence of fraud, showing discrepancies between vote counts from individual polling stations and the final results on the website of Colombia’s National Registry. However, the NGO concluded that “no evidence has been found” to back up the claims of fraud.
The MOE said that during their investigation they encountered a large number of discrepancies between vote counts from the E-14 forms and the pre-count totals, but that it was statistically negligible. Of the 1,200 voting stations that were sampled in the MOE study, 384 had discrepancies between the two counts. However, as a result of the discrepancies, Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus only lost 0.15% of his total votes, while Partido de la U’s Juan Manuel Santos lost 0.14%, showing the allegations of “widespread fraud” to be baseless.
The National Electoral Council (CNE), which on Thursday officially declared Santos the winner of the first-round election, released their pre-count and final-count data on Friday which also showed a statistically insignificant discrepancy.
According to the CNE, Santos’ initial vote count was 6,758,539 and his final was 6,802,043, a rise of only 0.64%, while Mockus’ initial vote count was 3,120,716 and his final was 3,134,222, a rise of only 0.24%.
The president of the CNE said earlier on Thursday that the allegations of fraud by the Facebook group have no legal validity, calling it “non-official information, that is really being blown out of proportion.”