Archive for August 7th, 2005

Not a pretty day for democracy

August 7, 2005

The President of the CNE, Jorge Rodriguez, just recognized in a
radio interview
that abstention is large. Some Chavista leaders have
been saying all day that abstention was low, as lines showed exactly the
opposite. International observers mentioned 90% abstention but we will
have to wait for real numbers. The Government first extended voting hours
until 6 PM and now they have extended it until 7 PM, claiming more voters were mobilizing, but
nobody could see them. A reporter in the Government’s TV channel said
that the hours were extended “to allow the militants to vote” in another
example of its independence. Venezuelan law says that
voting hours may be extended only if there are still people waiting to
vote, but the law has become spurious now in almost daily life in our country. Not a
pretty day for Venezuelan democracy.

Note added (20 minutes later): Gerardo Blyde of Priemro Justicia holds a press conference to point out what I said above, the law allows for polls to be open beyond 4 PM, only if there are people waiting in line.

Easy to vote

August 7, 2005

Went to vote, very easy, no lines whatsoever. I left late to get my
mother to go with me, we voted and I dropped her off in less than
thirty minutes. I actually drove around to see if there were lines
anywhere, I visited about ten centers of all social classes, I saw
lines only in a lower midlle class area in Chacao in the East of
Caracas, but none in the West.

Below is the picture of where I voted, there are six people in the
picture of which only two are voters, the lady with yellow shirt
sitting down and a person you can barely see behind the cardboard boxes
on the left behind the guy standing up. On the right is a picture of my
finger after being dipped in the iodine based ink. Who needs
fingerprint capturing machines so that people don’t vote twice, when
you put that on on everyone’s finger? I’ve washed it twice and have
barely made a dent on it! Crazy!