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Irregularities plague elections in developing democracies. The international community spends hundreds of millions of dollars on election observation, with little robust evidence that it consistently improves electoral integrity. We conducted a randomized control trial to measure the effect of an intervention to detect and deter electoral irregularities employing a nation-wide sample of polling stations in Uganda using scalable information and communications technology (ICT). In treatment stations, researchers delivered letters to polling officials stating that tallies would be photographed using smartphones and compared against official results. Compared to stations with no letters, the letters increased the frequency of posted tallies by polling center managers in compliance with the law; decreased the number of sequential digits found on tallies – a fraud indicator; and decreased the vote share for the incumbent president in some specifications. Our results demonstrate that a cost-effective citizen and ICT intervention can improve electoral integrity in emerging democracies.
A wide variety of GMR and CMR materials have been patterned by high density plasma etching in both corrosive (Cl2-based) and non-corrosive (CO/NH3) plasma chemistries. The former produce much higher etch rates but require careful in-situ or ex-situ, post-etch cleaning to prevent corrosion of the metallic multilayers. The former may have application for shallow etching of NiFe-based structures, but there is little chemical contribution to the etch mechanism and mask erosion can be a problem. The magnetic performance of patterned MRAM elements is stable over long periods (>1 year) after etching in Cl2 plasmas, provided a suitable cleaning protocol is followed. It is also clear that high ion energies during patterning of magnetic materials can have a significant influence on their coercivity. The effects of ion energy, ion flux and process temperature are discussed.
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