Archive for November 23rd, 2008

Watching the results of the Venezuelan Regional Elections (Updated as it happens)

November 23, 2008

10:40 PM Information remains consistent, talk of additional upsets, getting even weird, are people overly optimistic? CNE has 80% plus tabulated already and may give a bulletin within the hour.

9:06 PM I am hearing that the opposition is doing well and will surprise in two states and that Chavismo lost Barinas. If the opposition pulls off the Metropolitan Mayor, we are talking big upset for Hugo. I have this from two sources, one of which had a negative view coming into the election.  The best part is that they agree on the upsets even.

8 PM, first report by the Devil

November 23, 2008

At 8 PM there are conflicts all over the place as to whether polling places should be closed or not. TV stations are shwoing both cases, centers where there are no voters and it is open or someone is trying to reopen them, or centers where the authorities want it to be shut down. Similarly, not all centers are allowing witnesses to come in which is another source of conflict.

I think is going to be a long night if you want to know all the details, in the end Chavez will say he won, unless he lost Miranda, Alcaldia Mayor and Barinas, the opposition needs all three to limit Chavez’ ability to claim victory.

If the opposition can win six to seven states plus the Alcaldia Mayor, then it can claim it gained a lot of ground and Chavez should be worried.Similarly, if the opposition loses Carabobo, Miranda or Zulia, it will be huge for Chavez. Overall, the opposition should have more votes and Chavez more states.

Will post as news comes in

Complex voting process generates lines in Venezuela’s regional elections

November 23, 2008

   

(Top left voting sheets as people will see them in the machines. Right: Elderly line at a voting center)

Compared to the Constitutional Referendum lines today are long in most places I visited in Caracas, but this is likely due to the complexity of the vote more than anything else. On the top left you can see all of the choices people have on the machine. Someone who lives in Miranda State has 9 votes to complete: One Governor, One Mayor, one Metropolitan Mayor, three members for the Legislature of the State and one list for the same Legislature, one City Council member and one list for City Council. Add to this the dozens of small parties and the fact that you choose on the same sheet and it can indeed be confusing. For example, on the left above there are two sheets where you vote for Governor and three members of the Legislature and the list, if you want to separate your vote is quite complex.

I have yet to vote, I accompanied my mother to vote and even if people over 65 have priority it took her about 50 minutes in line and about three voting. Add the driving time back and forth and the fact that there is traffic near all polling places and it too all morning for her to vote. Later I went to see the lines and came to post after which I will go vote. (Strangely enough, I already wnet through the fingerprint process, at the center where I was I had to do that first, before I got in line, so that my vote is certainly randomized)

It looks like rain in Caracas later today and it is raining in the West of the country, which should be a factor.

I will tour polling places after I vote and report back.

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