The State Department is planning to test a new contrivance for rigging elections abroad.

The experiment will take place during the forthcoming 27 June presidential elections in Guinea. The 4 297 686 registered voters are expected to send text messages to an election monitoring center to report whether the vote is proceeding normally or whether they have witnessed any irregularities.

Evidently, not all the voters have a cell phone and it will be impossible to verify the authenticity of the text messages.

The monitoring center - actually a front for the U.S. Embassy and embedded NGOs - will analyse the messages and forward them to the National Electoral Commission website, but not before having filtered them first. It is on the basis of this skewed data feed that the validity of the vote will be decided.

The aim is not to rig the election, which is expected to be above board, but to calibrate the method for application in other countries.