Archive for July 15th, 2006

When half the voters are illegally registered to vote and nothing happens

July 15, 2006

Given the outcry of the opposition over the Electoral Registry
in the last two years the former President of the Electoral Board always claimed that the registry
was pristine and that the opposition was just making noise. Then last year, the
CNE hired CAPEL to do an audit of the registry and we were told that the registry
was fine and that, once again, the opposition was making much ado about nothing.

Nevertheless the CNE refused to hand over the complete registry
with addresses to political parties because this would “violate the privacy of
the citizens” in a country where the tax office rqeuires that you give your address for purchases. In the past the registry, with addresses was turned over to the
political parties for revision and it was clearly given to the Chavistas since
the Chavez/Tascon/Maisanta database contains the addresses of all those registered
to vote as well as their voting record.

Recently, someone actually leaked the complete Electoral
Registry for all but one state (Amazonas) to the Social Christian party COPEI. The
findings are just incredible:

1)      Between
January 2004 and May 2004, two million new voters were registered. Of these,
1.7 million do not have addresses.

2)      2.1
voters in the registry have the same address: Quinta Margabel in the El
Llanito area of Caracas, Miranda State.
This is a small house whose owner is dead. Now, what is interesting is that
these voters are found to vote in many states from Nueva Esparta (Margarita Island)
to Tachira in the border with Colombia.

      3)      4
voters have as an address the cryptic entry: D.L. 345 P.N.I. 

This means that more than 8 million voters are illegally registered
to vote
. You see, Art. 100 of the suffrage law states that voters are obligated
to provide the address of their residence and if you change residences you have
45 days to provide your new data. Not doing is penalized by law. 

The reason for this is obvious. If you do not provide your address
you could register to vote anywhere and political parties could manipulate groups
to change the outcome of elections that are very tight, particularly in
regional contests where the outcome may be determined by just a few hundred
votes. Thus, you are supposed to provide your address and you have to vote in
the same electoral circuit where you reside.

In any other country this revelation by COPEI authorities,
which included the accusation that the registry was manipulated at an office in
a separate building from the CNE, would have been a scandal, elections would be
postponed until the registry could be fixed and those responsible would be

But in revolutionary Venezuela the response is the usual:
The Electoral authorities respond by saying that the alternate building is part
of the CNE, but say absolutely nothing about the other charges.

And some fools still think this is a democracy!