Dominican Republic Slow Pokes

Stop-start election count

At the Central Electoral Board in the capital of Santo Domingo last week, a special police unit maintained an around-the-clock watch over election computers. Days had passed since nearly 2 million Dominicans waited in line, sometimes for as long as eight hours, to cast votes in the May 16 presidential election. Still the country was without a new leader.

After 92% of the ballots had been tallied, conservative former President Joaquin Balaguer, 78, held a slender 35,000-vote lead over Jacobo Majluta, 51, the candidate of the ruling Dominican Revolutionary Party. Then, without explanation, the counters stopped counting. At that point Majluta...

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