No valid votes were intentionally categorized as void - EC

Elections Commission (EC) has confirmed that no valid votes were intentionally classified as void votes.

More than 100 valid votes cast into a Maamigili vote box was marked as void by officials from by EC during the initial counting, which prompted an investigation into how the mix-up occurred.

During a press conference held on Thursday, Commissioner of Elections Ahmed Shared said there is no evidence that a politically influenced official had tampered with votes to change the result.

Shareef blamed the confusion on the parliament's recent decision to change the guidelines on what would constitute as a void vote.

"The biggest issue is that the parliament passed an amendment with an election looming up ahead. There was minimal awareness among the people and some doubts. What we identified was that most of the votes that were classified as void votes had two ticks traced over and overlapping each other. It is likely that the leader in-charge of the ballot box was of the opinion that such votes would count as void", said Shareef.

Shareef assured that action will be taken against those responsibe in the case that valid votes were intentionally classified as void for personal benefit.

The Elections Commission recounted all the votes classified as void that were cast into three boxes of Maamigili constituency during Saturday's parliamentary election. The recount increased number of votes received by seat winner Gasim Ibrahim by 64 votes while his opponent's votes increased by 45 votes.