Azerbaijan’s Malfunctioning Election App Draws Snickers from Supporters of Malfunctioning Obamacare

Displaying the keen insight that has made him a legend in foreign policy spheres in his own newsroom, Max Fisher of the Washington Post has a piece up about an election app commissioned by Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission. On election day, the application displayed election results before the polls closed showing incumbent President Ilham Aliyev with 72.76 percent of the vote. The CEC promptly apologized for the error, and the app developer attributed the erroneous message to bad data run during a test.

Fisher uses this as an opportunity to mock Baku for clumsiness in what he calls a staged election, suggesting that the results on the app were the planned results all along. Apparently immune to situational irony, Fisher concludes his piece with this:

As of this writing, Azerbaijan’s election authorities say they’ve counted 80 percent of the ballots, with Aliyev winning just under 85 percent of the vote so far. He’s been officially reelected.

85 is greater than 73, although it is awfully close to Aliyev’s approval rating, as measured by independent American pollster Arthur J. Finkelstein and Associates in a pre-election survey performed roughly one month ago. At the very least, the disparity in the two numbers would give most a pause before suggesting they are identical.

The situational irony is, however, greater than that. One would think that a vocal supporter of President Obama and his signature law would tread lightly when mocking tech rollouts. After all, as of this writing, nearly two weeks after the Obamacare web sites’ launches, almost no one can access the sites; the repair time may be up to six months; and all of this comes as the deadline to sign up or face penalties at law has moved closer by six weeks.

Whatever else you may say about the CEC’s app, it isn’t mandatory, and its failure is unlikely to result in fines for its users. Someone might want to tell Fisher that.

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