Technical issues force 2 votes for 2022 Winter Olympics
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) The vote to decide the 2022 Winter Olympics host city should have taken about 10 minutes using tablet-like electronic devices. Instead, a technical glitch left 85 voting members of the International Olympic Committee using paper ballots to ultimately give Beijing the nod.
The final result Friday gave Beijing a 44-40 edge - one person abstained - and a few red faces at the IOC.
After the first vote, results of which were not disclosed, was declared closed, IOC director general Christophe De Kepper told the delegates that there had been ''interferences with changes of tablets'' and that scrutineers ''are not comfortable with the integrity of the vote.''
So out came the paper ballots, and some delegates even had to ask for pens to help mark them. That more than doubled the expected voting time in a conference room at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.
IOC President Thomas Bach, who shook his head in mild disappointment after the glitch, was annoyed when a reporter asked him at a news conference about possible voting irregularities.
''I have explained very clearly,'' Bach said. ''Obviously there was a technical issue with the voting system, the devices. If the scrutineers decide to be on the very safe side to have a new vote, to have this vote on a ballot paper, then this speaks for itself for a very fair election in everybody's interest.''
Andrey Kyrukov, vice chairman of the Almaty bid which lost the closer-than-expected vote, was asked If he felt there was anything suspect about the vote.
''I can't tell you anything on this because I was not in the room and don't know exactly how the system works,'' Kyrukov said. ''But the thing is that some technical mistake or whatever has happened, I don't know (if) it's changed the mood in the room.
''When people vote, they don't change their decision in the dependence of the system, how they vote,'' Kyrukov said. ''That's why I don't think so.''