Dominican government asks OAS to investigate e-vote failure

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Officials in the Dominican Republic announced Friday that they have asked the Organization of American States to investigate the failure of an electronic voting system some believe was tampered with in an incident that sparked protests and delayed municipal elections.

Government officials said they also requested that the local Justice Department suspend its investigation to allow international organizations to take over.

“We must find a way to lend credibility to any investigation that is carried out to determine what happened and if there was any malicious action,” said Flavio Darío Espinal, the president’s legal adviser.

The software glitch had forced the Dominican Republic to suspend municipal elections on Sunday, with voting halted after three hours when 50% of polling places using electronic ballot machines reported problems.

Earlier this week, Dominican authorities announced they had detained two people as part of the investigation, including a police colonel. The two men have since been released. In addition, the country’s elections commission said Friday that it had suspended its information technology director.

Hundreds of people have protested the situation in cities including the capital of Santo Domingo.

The Dominican Republic now expects to hold municipal elections on March 15, but with paper ballots.

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