Amit Varma who writes the highly popular India Uncut blog was nominated in two categories – Best Political Coverage and Best Asian Blog

In the Best Political Coverage category, there was FiveThirtyEight which won 56% of the 44,000+ votes that were polled. India Uncut picked up 1.6%, a decent show considering the Amit did not fancy his chances too much.

However, in the Best Asian Blog, there was a scandal. Till Sunday night, India Uncut was leading by at least 10 percentage points. However, as Amit narrates…

Regular voters would no doubt have noted that the healthy lead I’ve held from the start has now vanished. The manner in which this has happened—most of it disappeared in a two-hour spell a few hours ago—is befuddling, and Deepak Iyer points me to this message board entry that might provide some clues. I have no idea if cheating is actually going on, and will not make that assumption about anyone unless proof is there. That said, I am also taking the numbers up there right now with a pinch of salt.

The concerned blog was the Burmese blog Ashin Mettacara. It was later found that a number of votes were illegal – using a technique called “rinse and repeat“. This allows for multiple votes to be sent from the same machine inspite of the restrictions on the same. Over 500 votes were found to be illegal (and 60 votes of Amit as well)

In the end, Amit lost out by a mere 192 votes out of the 8,000+ polled.  The blog awards committee adjusted the votes. However, as the administrator says, both blog authors never wished for such methods to be used. They may have been some enthusiastic Burmese soul rallying round Ashin’s war cry to unify all Burmese around his cause. (with Obama as the copywriter).

Am sure, Amit, the Stoic that he is, will find a chin to take the loss.

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