Sunday, December 03, 2006

The election day post

This post is the live coverage of today's election. It will be updated as needed. And will remain on top even if I post on other matters. Original time line 8:46 AM NOTE: Alex is having her own updates below. Do not miss them, including fashion comments.

21:42 At this time, there is no way that the CNE does not know the result of the election. Nobody is voting anymore, all tables are close, 3/4 of them at the very least must have transmitted the resutls to Caracas, and a sizable percentage has already completed the audit. Heck, all channels are showing audits everywhere!


20:53 All celebrations are done in San Felipe: it is raining again. Stronger rumors are reaching me but I am not talking. I just cannot beleive them.

20:37 Monica Frassoni, the EU observes head, refuses to comment on the irregularities and repeats without cease that "Tuesday, Tuesday we will speak". She did look quite dashing, by the way, and her Spanish excellent.

20:32 Telesur has announced that Chavez has won. Julio Montaya is up right now saying that 1) the numbers of Telesur are all wrong and 2) that Telesur is breaking the law since it is a Venezuelan TV. Do I smell shit on the way?

20:04 I keep hearing all sorts of things. Conspiracy theory time. I refuse to let you know about them. In fact I refuse to think about them. I also advise you to keep cool and to divide by ten anything you recieve. Meanwhile all sorts of people are celebrating in the streets of San Felipe. I have no idea what they are celebrating. If Rosales victory in San Felipe is confirmed I doubt that would be of much help if Chavez wins nationally....

19:44 Teodoro went on the podium of Quinta La Esmeralda, headquarters of Rosales. It was not what he said, but how he said it. He defended the Rosales votes as if they were his. A witness of the succes of Rosales in unifying people around him!
Meanwhile the thuggery of the army in Venezuela is again exposed. Oh well....

18:45 Some results!!!! In San Felipe Rosales won. In my voting center it was 3 to 1 for Rosales. Across my street it was 2 to 1. Exit polls are a mixed bag so I do not want to say anything about that. Heck, I refuse to discuss real polls, I am not going to start discussing exit polls.

Meanwhile there are plenty of reports of the military playing rough, forcing voting centers to remain open and what not. Oh well, what to expect when many beleive that we are under a military regime.

17:17 I have just heard from across the street the offical call for closing the center across my home. One hour late.
But I will not get upset, this is Venezuela and we are always late. And Tibisay is just saying on TV that any center without a line of people MUST close! If there are people in line they must allow them to vote but no one can join in anymore.

16:24 Now it is raining hard. And I am waiting from a call from the Radio Five of the BBC. If anyone with insomnia in London, or on the Internet you can try to log in on Radio Five in the middle of this page.

16:17 Polling should be closing. But in front of my window, the school is still wide open for customers. Some info I have received call for an abstention higher than normal. How to judge that effect? From my chart I would need to know where the abstention takes place. Otherwise only rumors to be reported, and that is not my style unless they are juicy gossipy style :)

It has started to rain.

13:30 PM Daniel Voteth! It was not too bad, about a little bit over an hour. The good news is that for the municipal elections of 2004 I voted at 3:30 PM and the joint was empty: I was the only voter! My voter roll did not even have a quarter of the page filled up. Today, at a little bit past noon more than half of the pages were already filled up and there were at least 40 people behind me. I can predict that the participation should be 75% at my voting center.

Ah! And a lot, a whole lot of people dressed in blue and white, only one red shirt for the chavsita witness at my table. Not surprising since I vote in an a district that has always voted heavily against Chavez. The novelty though is the amount of people that are standing up to be counted! Huummmm....

11:11 AM I am off to vote. If anything happens Alex will cover in the post below, though from New York she is missing all the excitement! I expect to be back in an hour. Wishful thinking?

10:31 a friend from Valencia reports that she went to vote at 4 AM and finally cast her ballot at 9 AM. She is happy, it was less than half the time she spent to vote at the Recall Election. Carabobo has capta huellas... she also reports that the line was much longer than the one she found at 5 AM. She said that right now people inline at her center will last at least 5 hours until they vote. And most were "azul azulito".

My aunt, an elderly who votes in Barquisimeto in a popular district, had to some queue too, the elderly special. At least after they wait for about half an hour they get a chair and are done in less than an hour. But lines were long and there was more blue than red.

9:54 Rosales is voting. Pandemonium in his voting center. All dressed in "azul, azulito"!! And "Atrevete" chants all around. Talk about non campaign policies at voting center.

None of my relatives has managed to vote yet. The ones who left to vote have had already to stand in line for two hours but at least they see the end coming. An improvement from 2004 but way, way too long a wait. Darned capta huellas.
9:32 Long lines in Caracas, not that long in San Felipe. The difference? The infamous captahuellas, the useless finger printing machines whose only objective is to scare public employees in the states where there are the most of them. No matter what has been said, too many of them are still afraid that chavismo will find a way to figure out that they did not vote for El Supremo. In Yaracuy we are free of them this time and in spite of an obvious good turnout already, lines are "normal".

8:45 AM I finally got up. I went to bed very, very late with the tension and work to prepare for today, but I slept well, refreshed by an unusual late night storm for this time of year. Thus I am afraid that there will be some areas with rain giving some excuse to the CNE to postpone unpleasant announcements, keep voting polls open until they can round up enough chavista to vote. It is called "la maquinaria electoral" and chavismo has it in a way that AD did not in the best days...

Mercifully the opening of the voting center under my window went smoothly, and not like in previous elections where by 6 AM the racket made it impossible to keep sleeping.

Lines have formed. People are voting but from what I can see they are advancing at a steady pace. At least under my window. Thus voting will not be an ordeal at it was for the Recall Election where I spent so many hours under the sun.

Elsewhere Alek is reporting live from Caracas. He promises us that he will update regularly. Miguel has not posted anything yet but he informed yesterday that he would vote early, very early, as he is helping older relatives to go early and vote and get done with it. However he ash one of those fancy phones where he can surf and post if necessary. So you can check on him on occasion, surely he will have stuff to say.

And with that note, off for breakfast.

PS: if you get edgy for news, you could do worse than read some of the stuff in the previous posts who will be rather relevant for today.

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