Archive for July 19th, 2008

Opposition agrees to biased conditions against them at polling stations in the November regional elections

July 19, 2008

I have been trying (very hard!!!) of not hitting on the
opposition too much, but the subject of accepting the same conditions as those
used in the Constitutional referendum in the selection of the people that will
man the polling booths borders on simple stupidity for lack of a more insulting word.

On Monday, these names will
be picked from the electoral registry
using the same criteria as in
December. As
Daniel noted today
, the people from,
have performed an analysis of the data of those that manned the polls in
Decembers´referendum and the results are truly scary if you want to have a voting process
that is fair and unbiased.

The story begins with the fact that the CNE “helped” Chavez’
party PSUV to carry out its peculiar primary. In the process, the CNE posted all of those
that registered in Chavez’ PSUV so that people could check if they were
properly registered and they could vote.

The guys at esdata mined the data and correlated it with the
people that were selected with the now infamous “revolutionary random
generator” and the criteria agreed upon and what they found was truly outstanding:

First of all, members of PSUV are 27.33% of the registered
voters in Venezuela, less than admitted by PSUV authorities

However, the way the selection process was set up for
the Constitutional referendum it turns out that 35.75% of the members of the
polling yables were members of PSUV. Even worse, 47.34% of the Presidents of
the polling tables were registered members of PSUV.

Please don’t assume this is all the result of the random
generator. It turns out that this is first of all a consequence of the rules
agreed on by the opposition to select the members.

Each polling table has 17 members, of which only three are truly important at the end of the day. Of these, 11 are selected
at random from the registry, 3 are selected from the country’s public school
teachers including the President of each table and 3 from the country’s

And therein lies the first bias, as it so happens that 48%
of the country’s teachers are members of Chavez’ PSUV. Lest you think this is
because the educational system supports him, let me set you straight: No, the
educational authorities have weeded out as much as possible those that do not
support the regime and only hired those that clearly were behind the revolution
in the last few years.

Thus, 47.34% of the Presidents of tables happened to be PSUV members
simply because 48% of the teachers belong to Chavez’ party. A strong bias to
begin with, agreed on and allowed by our illustrious opposition. Strike one, to use a baseball analogy.

The second bias comes form the students, since close to
100,000 students will be the secretary´s of the tables, then about one out of every table
will have an additional hardcore Chavista present. Strike Two.

But there is also something strange with the random
generator because the numbers simply don’t make any sense. If one knows that
38% of the students are members of PSUV, 48% of the teachers and 27.33% of the
population at large, then 32.86% of the members should be members of PSUV. But
the actual number was much higher, in fact, it was 35.78%. That means that
there were roughly 18,000 more pro-Chavez members of the polling tables than
expected, a result that can only be explained by the way the program selects its members, this is not within statistical error.

Is this important?

It turns out it may be quite important if the “extras” are placed
strategically where you need them. At the end of the day, each polling table
only has three members that matter: the President and the two principal
members, the remainder are alternates, in case other don’t show up and the
secretary and its alternates and the secretary.

Right off the bat, half the tables have a pro-Chavez
President. Since one third of the members are also pro-Chavez then one third of
the tables are controlled by PSUV right of the bat, i.e. they have two out of the
three positions in one third of the tables. How much better is that? Well, under
normal conditions they would have very few tables with two members of PSUV, in
fact they should have a majority in only about 7% of the polling tables.

So, I am not saying this is being done, but one third of the
polling tables is about 11,200, add 18,000 carefully selected members of the
polling tables and voila, PSUV members control almost all of the polling
tables. In fact, the people from esdata point out that the software that
selects the table members cannot even be audited, as it is not open or available. Strike three and you are out.

These numbers I have given are only national numbers, but
imagine this now at the micro level. In fact, Daniel
replotted the data
from the presentation we received and shows
it state by state in order of smaller discrepancies to larger, for what percentage are PSUV members who are President of tables:

Where the blue bar is the percentage in each state of PSUV
members in each state, the yellow bar is the percentage of table members
“selected” and the red is the percentage of Presidents who are members of
Chavez’ PSUV in polling tables for each state.

Clearly one could brake down the data state by state and
even look at electoral centers to see where the biggest statistical
discrepancies are. But at this time, all we know is that the opposition has
agreed to play with loaded dice in the upcoming regional elections. In fact,
they did it in the Constitutional referendum, where one of the difficulties in
providing the “final” results is that a large number of electoral centers in
pro-Chavez regions are not auditable because the polling tables did not perform
the required audits.

The conclusion is that the opposition (again?) is acting stupidly and assuming goodwill and good intentions, which this time around may be related to the overconfidence they seem to have in their victory in November.