Local professor heading to Ukraine to monitor presidental vote

Parkison will watch for voter fraud, intimidation

KOKOMO, Ind. - A local professor will head to Ukraine to help monitor the country's upcoming presidential election.

Indiana University Kokomo Professor Kathy Parkison will make sure the election is fair after the world has witnessed civil unrest and instability in Ukraine.

Nine-hundred poll watchers have been dispatched to help and give some international oversight into the election.

Parkison, an economics professor and the interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will be one of the observers keeping watch at the polling places for signs of voter intimidation or voter fraud. The ballots will be cast on paper and placed in a clear Plexiglas box.

"You watch the closing, you watch the count, you verify that they had 35 votes for this or 50 votes for that -- or whatever the number is -- that they write down 35 and 50. You then follow that polling station to the district election commission and make sure if they had 35 and 50 that it is still 35 and 50 and not something else, because I have seen the vote totals change in the car," Parkison said.

Parkison is not concerned about the current civil unrest in Ukraine and she believes she will be safe. She said she has monitored elections there before as well as other international locations like Macedonia.

Parkison is a volunteer and she said venturing into the tumultuous region is a part of her commitment to the democratic process. 

There will be 90 Americans among the 900 international observers keeping watch on the election.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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