Irbid election results and the cheating charge
Five candidates ran for mayor in Irbid. The winner, Abderaouf Tell, received 41995 votes. In second place came Abdelnasser Bani Hani (22262 votes) and in third place came the IAF candidate, Nabil Kofahi (16479 votes).
The margin of victory for Tell over Kofahi, who withdrew his candidacy at around 1 in the afternoon, was over 25500 votes.
The IAF claims that the military bussed in voters to vote for Tell. Assuming that in the remaining four hours of voting (after voting had been going on for six hours) Kofahi got double his number (doubtful), then his total would have reached about 33000 votes.
Thus, the vote differential between Tell and Kofahi would have been on the order of 9000 votes.
Assuming the busses carried 50 soldier voters each, the total number of busses needed to overcome Kofahi by this margin (assuming that they were tied) was 180 buses. There are 23 voting places in Irbid, which means that 8 full buses per station were needed to achieve this, but much more if the government wanted to play it safe.
Now, the government does not deny busing in soldiers to vote. It denies that they were ordered to vote for any specific candidate. My guess is that each station saw 2 or 3 buses. Even five loaded buses would not have made a difference.
Of course, this rough analysis does not mean that cheating did not occur, but it implies that the scale would have been massive for it to have made a difference.
The IAF has made contradictory statements as to whether the soldiers voted verbally (illiterate voting) or whether they had pre-filled ballot cards. Ballot cards have to be signed by the head to the box committee. So, in case this is investigated, it will be easy to determine whether boxes were stuffed with pre-filled ballots by simply looking at the signatures on the ballot cards. Illiterate voting means that the ballot card was filled by one person at the box charged with writing in the voters’ wishes. The number of ballots with these persons’ handwriting can also be determined by an impartial analysis.
This issue should be resolved through an impartial investigation, either by the courts following an official IAF complaint or by an independent committee appointed by the government. Since the government is the accused, the best way to settle this is by judicial inquiry.