"There are lots of ways to rig an election, and it sure helps to be the incumbent if you're planning on doing so," writes Ethan Zuckerman over at WorldChanging.net. He's talking about the elections in Zimbabwe, slated for March 29. In 2005, the country's parliamentary elections were largely derided for serious human rights abuses (check out this study by Human Rights Watch).
Zuckerman reports that incumbent Morgan Tsvangarai has engaged in fraudulent activities, which include printing over 9 million ballots (a lot for a nation of 5.9 million voters); he also reports:
"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has recruited 90,000 polling officers, who will oversee voting at polling places. Polling officers are often asked to help illiterate voters cast their votes, which can lead to vote rigging. And the ZEC has primarily recruited schoolteachers - who are government employees - to serve as the polling officers."
"Will Sokwanele's map show us whether the Zimbabwe election was rigged? It's possible that it already has - the map is filled with incidents of "political cleansing," violence where people who don't hold membership cards in ZANU-PF have been chased out. If you can't safely make it to a polling place, you can't vote. There are countless reports of failures to register voters, of food being given to government supporters and not to the opposition, of violence from police and troops against citizens."