Archive for December 3rd, 2006

Rosales concedes, but says difference not that large

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D) Rosales on TV. He is conceding his defeat saying he is a democrat, thanks the voters for what they did. He says teh Government took advantage of the state’s resources, but he occupied the required spaces. He says he will continue to carry the flag of this fight.

He says he has reviewed the exit polls, quick counts and revision of the tallies and that he will continue, but that the difference announced by the CNE is smaller than what was announced and he will show it. He recognizes the loss, but will continue the fight until he wins and implements the true redistribution of wealth and the defense of his ideas.

He reminds the Government that there are 26 million Venezuelans and will start the new fight tomorrow.

CNE announces Chavez victory

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D) CNE announces that with 78.31% of the tally sheets counted Chavez has 5.936.141 votes (61.35%), while Rosales obtained 3.715.292 votes (38.39%).

Petkoff gives message on behalf of Rosales

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D) Former Presidential candidate Teodoro Petkoff just gave a message on behalf of candidate Rosales at his campaign headquarters. Petkoff asked the CNE and the CUFAN (military in charge of elections) to enforce the law and said that any electoral center that is closed should remian closed and any center open you stay open as the law states. In any case, said Petkoff, using his traditional popular phrases: “anyone that thinks that you can reopen a poll table “esta pelando bolas”. (Sort of out of his mind)

Petkoff said that people should stay doing the audits which is the only guarantee of the results and that candidate Rosales would speak when it is the moment to speak and there is a clear picture of the results tallies and audits in hand. Petkoff said it would take hours to do the audits.

Tense calm as both campaigns stay mum

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D)There is a tense calm in Venezuela as audits are being performed in many centers and there are some official complaints
of voting centers being reopened after they had been closed. There are
rumors of all sorts about exit polls, results and the like which are
unfounded. Both campaign commands are keeping mum the results of their
respective exit polls. At Rosales’ campaign headquarters there are
mentions of a possible victory but by people who I would not consider
to be authoritative voices of the Rosales campaign.

Rosales’ campaign command is still dealing with the audits and the
gathering of the official tallies (actas) that will help them prove in
the case of a Rosales victory. The are also dealing with charges of
military buses and trucks arriving at various voting centers to
interfere with the audit process and reopen centers as the Electoral
Bard has ordered that centers with nobody in line should be closed. At
Rosales’ campaign command you hear gaitas and you can feel the tension
of the moment as everyone seems to want to find that special piece of
information that will reveal what will happen tonight as the polls
completely close.

Useless statement of the day

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D)The Superintendent of Banks said a few minutes ago that the “high (?) participation of Venezuelans in this electoral process and the strength of the financial system, defeated the false rumors of a “banking crisis”.

I guess some people will say anything to appear on TV

Huge abstention?

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D) When I discussed abstention levels and the possible impact on the election, I was thinking of what would happen if abstention were not the 15-20% polls suggest, but more like 40%. Indications are that it may be much higher than this, even above 50%. If this is the case, then it becomes a question of who has the biggest hardcore group and/or mobilizes people and I m not sure who would win in that case. At some point it is no longer favorable to Rosales but to Chavez, but I have no clue at what level.

Where I voted, abstention seems to be running around 35%, compared to 15% for the recall vote, but the number I gave of 50% above seems to be reliable.

Some pictures from my voting center

December 3, 2006

(Elecciones3D)

Top left, end of the line outside the school where I voted. This is where I was for the first 45 minutes I was right there before voting began. The picture on the right shows the continuation of the line around the block.

Above left, the continuation of the line for the third block and the entrance of the school. Unfortunately, once you went into the school, surprise! the line split into seven lines, despite the fact that there were only four fingerprint machines. The whole bottleneck were the fingerprint machines, which were at the beginning of the lines in the patio shown at the top, right.

Above left, inside of the voting room, which you can see that is quite empty, while there are long lines outside. In the middle a lady in her wheelchair trying to get her fingerprint to go through. On the right, the girl that was in front of me having her finger dipped in the ink. They did not let me take pictures inside.

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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