Archive for September 28th, 2004

Sumate draft report on recall process

September 28, 2004

Sumate has written a draft of its report on the very long process that led to the recall vote and the recall itself which you can find here in English. The document has a wealth of information and should be read by those interested in the process. It is well structured and documented. I found particularly interesting the parts about the audits as well as the legal aspects that sometimes are overlooked as to how regulations and laws were violated regularly in the whole process. Some highlights:


-Page 6 and 37: The CNE server was shutdown without explanation at 8 PM Sunday night while the vote was going on, international observers and CNE Directors were barred from entering the totalization room.


 


Page 7: While at the request of Venezuela’s President each signature in the petition was checked three times, the same Electoral Board that complied with that refused to count manually even a significant fraction of the ballots.


 


-page 20: The regulations for referendum processes approved last year by the same CNE that organized the recall vote state in its Article 50 that the referendum vote should be manual. Despite this the whole process was automated. Why?


 


-page 20: The same regulations in Article 55 state that the “Acta” containing the results should indicate the number of valid votes and the number of ballots deposited in the container. This was not done.


 


-page 21: The law explicitly says that the Electoral registry has to be closed for the 90 days prior to an electoral process. It was opened until 45 days before. Why?


 


-page 26: According to the referendum regulations the process of requesting a recall vote should take no more than 155 days, it took 362 days.


 


-page 39: Three days before the vote the “hot audit” by which ballots would be counted at the same time that the machines would print the results, was reduced from 3% of the voting machines to 1% by the Electoral Board. The day before the vote the CNE decided to do it in only 20 of the 336 municipalities in the country, which were part of only 14 states. 192 machines were selected for these hot audits, only 76 were done, of these, the opposition was only present in 27 of them. International Observers were only allowed in ten of them, they raised no alarms about these irregularities.


 


-page 40: While observers said the audit performed on August 18th. had only small differences with the machine count, they failed to mention that 19% of the ballot boxes chosen for the audit were either missing or had integrity problems such that they had to be replaced by alternates.

The media keeps hammering at Carter

September 28, 2004

Well, the media is just not letting Jimmy Carter go away, The New York post had an Editorial today, and some highlights (Thanks Ed):


“It is unconscionable,” Carter added, “to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation.”


Oh, really?


Funny, Carter quickly endorsed the results of last month’s recall effort against Venezuela‘s President Hugo Chavez.


Carter’s election observers were supposed to do a wide survey of the more than 20,000 electronic voting machines. Instead, they did only a quick check of a few. Only days later, in the face of major criticism, was an audit made of 150 of the machines — too late to affect any result.


 


Gov. Bush also gets into the fray saying of Carter’s comments:


 


“There’s this constant haranguing of nonsense, including by President Carter, which is a huge surprise to me because I have admired his compassionate actions in his post-presidency,” Bush said. “Without talking to a single person, without getting any information, he joins up with the MoveOn.org crowd, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am.”


 


And this blog also gave Mr. Carter a hard time; the comments may be as good as the post (Thanks Guillermo):


 


You should not only complain about the swing state of Florida, when the conditions that you claim do not meet “basic international requirements” exist in many states, including Democratic ones. Focusing only on Republican-controlled Florida might give people the misimpression that you care less about electoral justice, than in getting your own guy into the White House By Any Means Necessary.


 


LGL comment: They did not do a very good job at monitoring the procedures, and since the government controlled all the options in the game such as deciding not to allow the counting of the paper receipts printed along with the touch screen voting.


 


F. Toro comment: Well, from a Venezuelan perspective Carter’s little ditty was simply incredible. Not two months ago Carter was signing off on an election run by certainly the most partisan Elections Commission in Venezuela’s history, calling it free and fair, and saying allegations of wrongdoing have to be based on more than a systematic pattern of partisan behavior from the elections authorities…(you should see the crew that ran our referendum – ideological hardliners handpicked by Chavez’s handpicked judges.) Now…this!


 


Not, of course, that we’re not used to double standards coming from the north. Florida, of course, must have elections authorities purer than the virgin snow…but it’s ok if the barbarians in South America get one of the sides to run their polls…


Sigh…


 


A. Boyd comment: As everyone knows there is a huge fraud cloud above Chavez’ recent electoral win. The reason is quite simple, the international observers -namely OAS and Carter Center- did not do the job properly nor were they allowed to conduct and control the audits that would have cloaked with legitimacy the end result.


 


Anne Haight comment: I can’t imagine that anyone is actually impressed by Carter anymore, about anything. His performance in Venezuela was nothing less than grotesque. For him to point fingers at Florida is blatantly partisan, since the sorts of issues he complains about are 1) not confined to the state of Florida, and 2) not confined to one political party.


How can you possibly certify an election when the ruling party doesn’t allow a recount or an independent examination of the ballots? Apparently Carter has some magical ability to do so in places like Venezuela.


 


Daniel’s comment: It is indeed fitting to observe Carter’observer role observed in turn.


The Florida comments of Carter smack of third world contempt for us in Venezuela who have now to pay the consequences of a failed observation. Regardless of his hurried comments on August 16 at noon (and being contradicted during the press conference by the OAS head, incidentally), the Carter Center appears now to have failed at observing adequately the rigging of the electoral system BEFORE August 15 Venezuelan referendum.


 


This story will eventually be told, of the spineless Carter Center role in June and July 2004, not to say even encouraging the Venezuelan opposition to “play” the game under the pretense that the Carter Center would ensure a fair result. The governmental electoral abuse was for all to see and the Carter Center cannot not have seen it.


 


Thus, for one, I am not surprised at the different democratic standards that Carter applies in Florida. If anything I am embarrassed that I have supported him for so long in my blog. Whatever good he did in Venezuela was not only wiped out in a few days, but the peace maker probably left us closer to violence than when he started his “services”.

The media keeps hammering at Carter

September 28, 2004

Well, the media is just not letting Jimmy Carter go away, The New York post had an Editorial today, and some highlights (Thanks Ed):


“It is unconscionable,” Carter added, “to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation.”


Oh, really?


Funny, Carter quickly endorsed the results of last month’s recall effort against Venezuela‘s President Hugo Chavez.


Carter’s election observers were supposed to do a wide survey of the more than 20,000 electronic voting machines. Instead, they did only a quick check of a few. Only days later, in the face of major criticism, was an audit made of 150 of the machines — too late to affect any result.


 


Gov. Bush also gets into the fray saying of Carter’s comments:


 


“There’s this constant haranguing of nonsense, including by President Carter, which is a huge surprise to me because I have admired his compassionate actions in his post-presidency,” Bush said. “Without talking to a single person, without getting any information, he joins up with the MoveOn.org crowd, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am.”


 


And this blog also gave Mr. Carter a hard time; the comments may be as good as the post (Thanks Guillermo):


 


You should not only complain about the swing state of Florida, when the conditions that you claim do not meet “basic international requirements” exist in many states, including Democratic ones. Focusing only on Republican-controlled Florida might give people the misimpression that you care less about electoral justice, than in getting your own guy into the White House By Any Means Necessary.


 


LGL comment: They did not do a very good job at monitoring the procedures, and since the government controlled all the options in the game such as deciding not to allow the counting of the paper receipts printed along with the touch screen voting.


 


F. Toro comment: Well, from a Venezuelan perspective Carter’s little ditty was simply incredible. Not two months ago Carter was signing off on an election run by certainly the most partisan Elections Commission in Venezuela’s history, calling it free and fair, and saying allegations of wrongdoing have to be based on more than a systematic pattern of partisan behavior from the elections authorities…(you should see the crew that ran our referendum – ideological hardliners handpicked by Chavez’s handpicked judges.) Now…this!


 


Not, of course, that we’re not used to double standards coming from the north. Florida, of course, must have elections authorities purer than the virgin snow…but it’s ok if the barbarians in South America get one of the sides to run their polls…


Sigh…


 


A. Boyd comment: As everyone knows there is a huge fraud cloud above Chavez’ recent electoral win. The reason is quite simple, the international observers -namely OAS and Carter Center- did not do the job properly nor were they allowed to conduct and control the audits that would have cloaked with legitimacy the end result.


 


Anne Haight comment: I can’t imagine that anyone is actually impressed by Carter anymore, about anything. His performance in Venezuela was nothing less than grotesque. For him to point fingers at Florida is blatantly partisan, since the sorts of issues he complains about are 1) not confined to the state of Florida, and 2) not confined to one political party.


How can you possibly certify an election when the ruling party doesn’t allow a recount or an independent examination of the ballots? Apparently Carter has some magical ability to do so in places like Venezuela.


 


Daniel’s comment: It is indeed fitting to observe Carter’observer role observed in turn.


The Florida comments of Carter smack of third world contempt for us in Venezuela who have now to pay the consequences of a failed observation. Regardless of his hurried comments on August 16 at noon (and being contradicted during the press conference by the OAS head, incidentally), the Carter Center appears now to have failed at observing adequately the rigging of the electoral system BEFORE August 15 Venezuelan referendum.


 


This story will eventually be told, of the spineless Carter Center role in June and July 2004, not to say even encouraging the Venezuelan opposition to “play” the game under the pretense that the Carter Center would ensure a fair result. The governmental electoral abuse was for all to see and the Carter Center cannot not have seen it.


 


Thus, for one, I am not surprised at the different democratic standards that Carter applies in Florida. If anything I am embarrassed that I have supported him for so long in my blog. Whatever good he did in Venezuela was not only wiped out in a few days, but the peace maker probably left us closer to violence than when he started his “services”.

The media keeps hammering at Carter

September 28, 2004

Well, the media is just not letting Jimmy Carter go away, The New York post had an Editorial today, and some highlights (Thanks Ed):


“It is unconscionable,” Carter added, “to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation.”


Oh, really?


Funny, Carter quickly endorsed the results of last month’s recall effort against Venezuela‘s President Hugo Chavez.


Carter’s election observers were supposed to do a wide survey of the more than 20,000 electronic voting machines. Instead, they did only a quick check of a few. Only days later, in the face of major criticism, was an audit made of 150 of the machines — too late to affect any result.


 


Gov. Bush also gets into the fray saying of Carter’s comments:


 


“There’s this constant haranguing of nonsense, including by President Carter, which is a huge surprise to me because I have admired his compassionate actions in his post-presidency,” Bush said. “Without talking to a single person, without getting any information, he joins up with the MoveOn.org crowd, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am.”


 


And this blog also gave Mr. Carter a hard time; the comments may be as good as the post (Thanks Guillermo):


 


You should not only complain about the swing state of Florida, when the conditions that you claim do not meet “basic international requirements” exist in many states, including Democratic ones. Focusing only on Republican-controlled Florida might give people the misimpression that you care less about electoral justice, than in getting your own guy into the White House By Any Means Necessary.


 


LGL comment: They did not do a very good job at monitoring the procedures, and since the government controlled all the options in the game such as deciding not to allow the counting of the paper receipts printed along with the touch screen voting.


 


F. Toro comment: Well, from a Venezuelan perspective Carter’s little ditty was simply incredible. Not two months ago Carter was signing off on an election run by certainly the most partisan Elections Commission in Venezuela’s history, calling it free and fair, and saying allegations of wrongdoing have to be based on more than a systematic pattern of partisan behavior from the elections authorities…(you should see the crew that ran our referendum – ideological hardliners handpicked by Chavez’s handpicked judges.) Now…this!


 


Not, of course, that we’re not used to double standards coming from the north. Florida, of course, must have elections authorities purer than the virgin snow…but it’s ok if the barbarians in South America get one of the sides to run their polls…


Sigh…


 


A. Boyd comment: As everyone knows there is a huge fraud cloud above Chavez’ recent electoral win. The reason is quite simple, the international observers -namely OAS and Carter Center- did not do the job properly nor were they allowed to conduct and control the audits that would have cloaked with legitimacy the end result.


 


Anne Haight comment: I can’t imagine that anyone is actually impressed by Carter anymore, about anything. His performance in Venezuela was nothing less than grotesque. For him to point fingers at Florida is blatantly partisan, since the sorts of issues he complains about are 1) not confined to the state of Florida, and 2) not confined to one political party.


How can you possibly certify an election when the ruling party doesn’t allow a recount or an independent examination of the ballots? Apparently Carter has some magical ability to do so in places like Venezuela.


 


Daniel’s comment: It is indeed fitting to observe Carter’observer role observed in turn.


The Florida comments of Carter smack of third world contempt for us in Venezuela who have now to pay the consequences of a failed observation. Regardless of his hurried comments on August 16 at noon (and being contradicted during the press conference by the OAS head, incidentally), the Carter Center appears now to have failed at observing adequately the rigging of the electoral system BEFORE August 15 Venezuelan referendum.


 


This story will eventually be told, of the spineless Carter Center role in June and July 2004, not to say even encouraging the Venezuelan opposition to “play” the game under the pretense that the Carter Center would ensure a fair result. The governmental electoral abuse was for all to see and the Carter Center cannot not have seen it.


 


Thus, for one, I am not surprised at the different democratic standards that Carter applies in Florida. If anything I am embarrassed that I have supported him for so long in my blog. Whatever good he did in Venezuela was not only wiped out in a few days, but the peace maker probably left us closer to violence than when he started his “services”.

Chavez’ promise to Carter two years later

September 28, 2004

Closing the Carter Chapter for the time being, in October 2002, when this was a young blog, I translated an article from Tal Cual in which the promises Chavez made to the US President were listed with witty comments from Tal Cual’s Editor Petkoff next to each one. Two years later, only two of the twelve promises have been or were ever fulfilled. Has Carter ever reminded Chavez about them?

Chavez’ promise to Carter two years later

September 28, 2004

Closing the Carter Chapter for the time being, in October 2002, when this was a young blog, I translated an article from Tal Cual in which the promises Chavez made to the US President were listed with witty comments from Tal Cual’s Editor Petkoff next to each one. Two years later, only two of the twelve promises have been or were ever fulfilled. Has Carter ever reminded Chavez about them?

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