Figures on government election website don’t add up

By Jennie Matthew

CONFUSION reigned on the government’s official election web page yesterday, with a dazzling array of gaping errors and no explanation for statistics that claimed nearly 6,000 non-registered voters were eligible to vote in Sunday’s general election.

Those who logged on to could be forgiven for thinking that either the government’s electorate service or AvacomNet, the company responsible for posting the results, were incapable of basic addition and subtraction.

The total number of listed voters throughout the country was given as 468, 913. But, the number who voted and the number who failed to turn up came to 474,676 – nearly 6,000 more than those apparently eligible to vote.

If that wasn’t bad enough, then the total number of voters, 436,114, was 7, 133 less than the total number who wrote null, blank and valid ballot papers.

Similar discrepancies marred the results for all the electoral districts: Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Famagusta and Kyrenia.

Are a mystery 7,133 ballot papers floating around that are neither blank, null or valid, or, more worryingly, not counted?

What is more likely, in a post-election period tainted by delay and mechanical breakdown, is that there are big mistakes in the maths.

No one from the Electoral Service was able to speak to the Cyprus Mail yesterday evening, but AvacomNet software manager Dinos Constanti said the problems were administrative.

He claimed the discrepancies occurred because enclaved Greek Cypriots were registered, but practically unable to vote. Similarly the 10,000 police officers and civil servants on duty during and after polling hours were unable to vote where they were working.

That meant that they might have been counted twice, at the place they voted and the polling station they were registered to vote in.

If true, that could explain why there seem to be more votes cast than registered voters.

But although Constanti said the results would be up-dated as soon as possible, the faulty statistics on the web are exactly the same as those issued by the Interior Ministry at 13.20 on Monday – 52 hours before the Cyprus Mail called AvacomNet to ask what was going on.

The other figures still to be tweaked are the party percentage votes, which added up to 99.79 per cent instead of 100.