Please Take Note, Ohio, Vote-by-Mail Supporters, and Iowa Caucus Monitors!
By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2008, 1:33pm PT  

Reports of hundreds dead in violent riots following Kenya's recent Presidential election continue. In the contested race, the incumbent President Kibaki was announced the winner, despite "pre-election opinion polls and early media tallies" which suggest that the challenger, Odinga, should have won.

Of particular note however, was this instructive graf, from AFX News Limited's coverage over the holiday, which caught our eye...

[Chief EU observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff] said his mission had evidence of presidential tallies announced in polling stations on the election being inflated by the time they were released by the electoral commission in Nairobi.

Got that? Because results were announced at the polling place before being sent away, it was possible for there to be checks and balances by election observers against the official central count as released, and possibly gamed, by the centralized election officials.

We'd hope the above point will be carefully noted by folks like Ohio SoS Jennifer Brunner, who has recently recommended against decentralized precinct-based counting, in favor of central county-level counting (see our recent exclusive interview with her on those points); those who have been pushing for all Vote-by-Mail elections of late; and those folks who are monitoring Iowa's caucuses on Thursday.