On county election day at a village in central China, officials were faced with an awkward problem: almost no one showed up to vote. So in a bid to at least give the appearance of an election, four officials in Beiping village decided to take matters into their own hands – by filling out the ballot papers themselves.
Their election fraud has been uncovered in an investigation by the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog in Henan province, its official newspaper reported on Thursday.
In China, county-level members of the People’s Congress are among the only positions of public office directly elected by ordinary voters. But even those elections are tightly controlled and are often, if not always, won by candidates nominated or endorsed by the authorities. The national legislature is elected by members of the provincial bodies, who in turn are elected by those at the prefecture level.