Wht Timely Results Are Important

One question people often ask each of us is this: why do we need to have election results reported quickly?

The current Zimbabwe elections illustrate the reason; when results are held back, it may seem–either correctly or incorrectly–that the results are being “massaged” in the back room. As The Guardian notes:

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said that what it regards as the overwhelming win by its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, is “under threat” despite growing support from foreign monitors for its claim of victory. The party also said it had “security concerns” after a police raid on its election offices yesterday. Tsvangirai made no public appearances, apparently out of concern for his safety. The MDC’s secretary general, Tendai Biti, said the party was increasingly alarmed at the refusal of the state-run Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to issue any results. “It appears the regime is at a loss how to respond … We are really concerned by this assault on democracy. The primary point of an election is a result. We think there is a constitutional threat to those results,” he said.