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Look at the 2003 Elections in Pictures - 2003-08-19


VOA reporter Reasey Poch photographed different aspects of the 2003 Parliamentary elections in Cambodia.

Election Day, July 27, 2003, began when voters lined up and then dropped their marked ballot into a metal box. Immediately afterwards, the voter's finger was dipped into ink.

The special ink donated by India was semi-permanent, lasting as a black stain on the voter's finger. It could not be washed away for several days to prevent people from voting more than one time.

The next day, after the voting stations closed, a long process began where each ballot was read and displayed to a panel of election monitors to ensure fairness.

The vote was then marked on a large chart in front of an often crowded room of election monitors.

The monitors were Cambodians trained by the National Election Committee or foreign organizations such as the Interntaional Republical Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute, or the European Union.

Monitors also included representatives from each political party. All monitors worked to make sure the election was free and fair.

Monitors rotated from examining the ballots to marking each ballot's vote on a large chart. The chart listed every political party alongside the number of votes in that town.

Thousands of election workers were hired by the NEC to assist with voter registration, election day and counting ballots.

Election workers ranged from the very young to the very old, not discriminating against gender or age. Their purpose was to make sure that the process went smoothly.

Most of the election workers and monitors spent long hours recording votes and making sure the each ballot's vote was correctly read aloud and marked on the chart.

Some monitors even came from abroad, such as American Christine Todd Whitman who led the IRI. She took some time to talk with VOA reporter Reasey Poch about her experience in the 2003 election.

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