As Congo rolls toward election, voting machines a flashpoint
BENI, Congo (AP) — A deadly Ebola outbreak grows. Rebels kill civilians in the streets. And yet the arrival of voting machines in this troubled corner of Congo has some especially worried as a long-delayed presidential election promises further upheaval.
The machines are of such concern that the U.N. Security Council has come calling, the United States has issued warnings and opposition supporters on Friday plan a national protest.
As Congo faces what could be its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power, fears are high that the more than 100,000 voting machines will be ripe for manipulation.
They also could pose a technical nightmare in a sprawling nation of more than 40 million voters where infrastructure is dodgy — just 9 percent of Congo has electricity — and dozens of rebel groups are active.