Archive for October 25th, 2004

October 25, 2004

The Cynical Electoral Board continues its magic act, this time telling the Governor of Yaracuy Lapi, that not to worry, that this time around the transmission will not take place until after the votes have been added. Of course, there is no mention of how this will be monitored or guaranteed, maybe in a month I will be showing again plots of data transmitted before the votes were added arguing that there was fraud and somebody will make a comment that this was not data but handshaking between machines. As somebody said (Yogi Berra?,Bush?) this is Déjà vu all over again!

But let’s see how our well meaning and fair authorities have been behaving in the last few weeks to see whether something may be up or not:


-The CNE has promised (Notice the difference, it has promised, not approved!) that one box will be audited at each center. Now, if you are trying to be transparent and fair, what is the difference between opening one or three boxes? The answer is simply none. So, why the reluctance to count all of the ballots? Think about it, all of those statistical arguments that worked so well in the recall vote will be irrelevant for hundreds of local races where “coincidentally” the audited box will favor the opposition by “only” a one or two percent difference over the other two or three boxes. But add it up, and tampering with two will be as effective as tampering with all of them.


It takes maybe fifteen to twenty minutes to add up all of the ballots in a box. This can be done in parallel by the witnesses and people who show up. Why object it? We have never heard any argument for this absurdity. This from the man that when it came time to test the signatures by the opposition actually said that perfectly valid statistical tests could not be trusted.


-It used to be in the “old days” right after the Supreme Court named the new Electoral Board, that there was supposed to be a two to two balance with “oil digger” Carrasquero the deciding vote if things got too partisan. In time, Carrasquero showed his true colors and it was a clear pro-Chavze majority of three to two. About a month ago, CNE Director Zamora resigned, which should have been no problem since he had an alternate named by the Supreme Court. Mysteriously, the alternate has never been invited to a Board meeting and has been given no official responsibilities, just when a big vote is coming up. Do I hear fair play?


-The Electoral Hall of the Supreme Court, now purified and in the hands of the revolution, “Loaizad” the injunction against the Electoral Registry by arguing that those asking for the injunction had not provided any proof of illegalities in the registry, but had simply provided lists of voters of their own without any addresses or any other data required to register.


Of course, lawyers for the CNE diligently argued against the granting of the injunction using words like “preclusive”, “prima facie” and “illusiority” , some of which are not even in any legal dictionary, least of all in that of the Spanish language but sound good when trying to make a case. Curiously, to this blogger turned amateur lawyer, the CNE did not provide the equivalent list of voters with addresses or other data that would have Perry Masoned the case out of the Electoral Hall in a flash. But what do I know.


-But no other mystery is larger than the functionality of the Cynical Electoral Board than the fact that there have been few and precious meetings of its Board in the last three weeks. Meeting after meeting is cancelled, despite the fact that they could approve the agenda in second by a three to one vote. Nothing is discussed. In the best style of Saddam Hussein’s Electoral Board, everything is decided in informal meeting in the halls of the Electoral Board, where CNE Director Rodriguez tells Carrasquero and Battaglini what the messages in the t-motions (RIMM’s in the US) from the Presidential Palace are telling them to do.


Thus, despite charge to the contrary, the CNE is not run like the totalitarian Government but by the totalitarian Government itself. But maybe I am just caught in the “illusiority” of the moment.


-But some believe there is still hope as more evidence was handed in to the Constitutional Hall of the Supreme Court asking to postpone the regional elections. That same Hall who got rid of the Justice that declared the signatures valid. The same one that said the Electoral Hall was not in charge of Electoral decisions. The same one that delivered the illustrious nose picking Carrasquero to preside over our electoral processes. The same one that failed to defend the rights of those that signed the petition to recall Hugo Chavez. The same one that has failed to look into the fraud on August 15th. The President of which promised Linda Loaiza a “quick” solution to her case. The same one that declared the session of the National Assembly outside Congress and without a quorum valid.


Oh yeah, there is hope, I can really see it coming this time on the side of justice…it is indeed electoral Déjà vu all over again!