Cast my vote, long lines due to fingerprint machines, abstention appears high

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D) After arriving at 6:45 AM to vote, only to find that the vote had not even started at my center, I finally left at 10:30 AM, an absurd three hours and forty five minutes later. While much better that the recall vote, when it took me a full ten hours, so much fos spending hundreds of million of dollars to voting machines and equipment only to make it worse than ever.

And the bottleneck was clearly due to the fingerprint machines as you will see in pictures I will post later. At the beginning the voting officials at my center were not even following the limit rule of one minute in the fingerprint machine, which made the process longer, but this time around people were clearly not going to take it and started chanting “out with the fingerprint machines”, which made them streamline the process. Besides the one minute limit, they began organizing the flow better and it seemed to improve.

After voting I went around Caracas and found out things were not very uniform. I saw centers one block away from each other, one with a huge line and the other with no line. I saw centers downtown with no lines and remarkably, very active commercial activity, including a fruit and vegetable market, rare on an election day.

My feeling is that in my voting center abstention will be larger than at the RR when close to 90% of the people voted.

At 10: 45 AM the Electoral Board reported that 2.75% of the centers had yet to open in a clear indication that there were problems in many locations.  There were reports of the ballots once in a while being blank, one lady at my center had that problem, but she went back, repeated the process and got it right. My ballot was certainly as voted, which was easy to check as the name of the candidate I voted for was clearly printed in large letters. It was harder to check the name of the party I voted for.

At the center I voted there were four fingerprint machines and seven voting machines. The lines were scrambled for the fingerprint machines and officials had no control over the order so even if they knew how I voted, they ahd no way of knowing who voted and when.

I will be reporting as the day goes by, some pictures in a while.

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