Calls For Investigation Of Voting Fraud Allegations In Haiti
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Barbara Lee is urging United States and international election observers to thoroughly investigate claims of fraud in the elections in Haiti. Congresswoman Lee participated in a 10-Member delegation on Sunday to observe Haiti’s presidential and parliamentarian elections. She released the following statement:
“Sunday’s elections were vital for the resilient Haitian people as they struggle to recover from January’s devastating earthquake, Hurricane Tomas, and the ongoing cholera epidemic.
“I share the views of my colleagues in expressing serious concerns with reports of voter disenfranchisement and allegations of fraud. Discussions with U.S. embassy, Organization of American States (OAS), United Nations, and nongovernmental election observers indicate that there were widespread instances of voters being turned away from polling sites, a few of which I personally observed, and cases of ballot boxes being stuffed and ballots being stolen.
“It may be too early to determine the scope and scale of voting irregularities, which may be limited enough to not have altered the election outcome. However, it is clear that a thorough investigation must be conducted before the United States and international community can legitimately claim that yesterday’s elections were free and fair.
“I greatly appreciate the challenges and enormous efforts of the Haitian Government, United States, OAS, and UN in conducting yesterday’s elections, particularly in the middle of the cholera epidemic. The establishment of a legitimate government in Haiti is vital to Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction and to containing the cholera outbreak.
“I believe that an extensive investigation by the U.S. and OAS-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) election observation mission is necessary to ensuring the electoral outcomes are viewed as legitimate and the will of the Haitian people respected. The United States must continue to assist our neighbor and empower the Haitian people to confront the challenges they continue to face as they attempt to rebuild their lives and their country.”
Congresswoman Lee was part of the delegation led by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and joined by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), Rep. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio).