Poll observers ‘fixed’ ballots

A Thessaloniki misdemeanors court yesterday passed down three-year jail sentences to two election observers representing the two main parties, New Democracy and PASOK, after finding them guilty of doctoring ballot papers in Sunday’s elections at a polling station in the municipality of Halastra. The observers, a man and a woman, were accused by a judicial representative of adding crosses to the names of candidates running on ND’s and PASOK’s tickets on Sunday evening after ballots had closed. The man reportedly denied the charges, claiming to have been «flicking through the ballot papers» when seen by the court official. The woman reportedly admitted to charges of doctoring ballot papers, attributing the act to a preference for a particular candidate, who was not identified. Both convicts appealed their sentences and were released pending their hearings.