Staff of Hotel Borgarnes walked in and out of the room where ballots were left unsealed and unsupervised after the initial count following the September 25 parliamentary election, Vísir reports. Votes in the Northwest Constituency were later recounted, ousting five politicians from their seats. West Iceland Police says there are no indications that votes were tampered with, but stated that security camera footage could not confirm that was the case.
The police investigation into the matter revealed that hotel staff entered the room where ballots were stored while election supervision staff was not present. Election staff had left the ballots unsealed and unsupervised between the first and second counts, both breaches of election regulation. Thirteen people have filed legal complaints with Parliament over the handling of votes in the Northwest Constituency.
Security camera footage from the room where ballots were stored shows hotel staff entering the room. The boxes containing the ballots are, however, not visible in the camera footage. Police have stated they believe it unlikely that the ballots were tampered with while election staff were away, but that they have no way of confirming that belief.
Election staff refuse to pay fine
The Chief of Police in West Iceland has issued fines to all members of the constituency’s election supervision committee due to the handling of election documents. The fines range between ISK 100,000 [$775, €667] and ISK 250,000 [$1,938, €1,666]. Vísir reports that at least two of the committee members do not plan to pay the fines. The media outlet’s sources also state that one committee member believes the first, and not the second vote count, should be considered valid.