So, yesterday, the Board of the Electoral Board (CNE) approved the use of the fingerprint capturing machines for the December elections. They defended what can not be defended using arguments that their own technical assesment has demonstrated is not correct. It turns out that Bruni’s calculation of how good the fingerprint machines was conservative and according to Board member Diaz in El Nacional “39% of the comparison between signatures failed”. Thus, US$ 105-plus million were spent on a system that is useless for what the CNE and the Government claim it does.Diaz threw even more confusion into the fary, when in the same article in El Nacional he said that “With the system only 26 attempts have been detected of people that attempted to vote twice in three elections”. Thus, the CNE has spent US$ 4.03 million per case detected, not necessarily very efficient and cost effective.(BTW, this is the third different number I hear with respect to how many people were actually caught voting twice with the system, I have heard 53, 29 and now 26)
Of course, what candidate Rosales now calls the “Chuky” of our elections, is now being justified on other grounds, which are just laughable given the fact that former CNE President Jorge Rodriguez never mentioned any of them during his tenure.
The fact is that they have now decided to use a system which:
-Is not mandated by law
-Will cost additional money to use one more time
-It has been shown to do very little of what is supposed to, thus it represents a waste of Governmnet resources , which is penalzied under the anit-corruption law.
-Instills fears in voters, thsu violating their rights.
-The detailed conditions or its used have not been decided upon. (Where it is online or not, whch makes little sense, who will have access to the data and the like)
As usual, makes you wonder where the People’s Ombudsman is. If a system instills fears in 40% of the population, it would seem he would have to say something about it. Additionally, the ineffetiveness of the system is a violation of the “Ley del Salvaguarda del Patrimonio Publico” and as such the Prosecutor and the Comptroller would have to investigate it.
I am sure the opposition will continue to bring pressure on the CNE not to use these machines. If its use is later cancelled, the only winner in all this will be Cogent and its shareholders, who have already made hundreds of millions of dollars already thanks to the generosity of the CNE and will make more money with the latest decision by the Chavista members of the Electoral Board..