I am in no condition to do extensive research on electoral fraud this morning. I did sleep well last night, once I could fall asleep, but I woke up late and I need to go soon to attend at least a few hours of business. But since at least one reader summoned me.....
That the election was absolutely undemocratic, I have been addressing this often, the latest entry being on March 18 where I clearly, I hope, underlined the absolute lack of interest by the regime to even pretend at democratic mores. thus below what I need is to list in order of importance, just the order that I get in between any sip of my morning tea, divided in two sections: direct material fraud and general fraud set up
- voto asistido: this is when perfectly valid people are accompanied to the voting machine by a PSUV official that makes sure that this person voted for Maduro. This was amply reported in past elections and also yesterday from early hours. It is possible that by the time the CNE pretended to care several thousand such votes had already been emitted. In a close election, you do the math.
- operacion remolque: this is when voters that have not voted in the morning are sought in the afternoon and dragged if needed to a voting center. You may argue that operations to "bring the vote" are not by themselves illegal, but what is illegal is that the candidate Maduro uses state funds, state vehicles, armed forces and police to go and seek its voters while the opposition candidate has to use more, shall we say, artisan means like private cars and bikes. Which the regime also uses by the way.
- foreign vote: this is the method in which Venezuelan embassies do not allow people to register for voting, or where they make it difficult, or where a given consulate is closed outright. For example if Miami had been allowed to operate normally, that would have given at the very least a 15,000 bonus to Capriles. another example, if a voting table had been installed in Calgary, maybe Capriles would have got an extra 2,000 votes.
I can describe other ways but just with these three above there is enough to fill up the gap between Capriles and Maduro and proclaim a tie.
In this method we look at the way electoral fraud was already promoted by the electoral umpire CNE, which is all but an umpire.
- delays in taking measures: many complaints of unfair practices are deposited at the CNE. The time of response is usually low, or null. And thus only too often the response comes when the damage is done. Example yesterday when complaints against campaign activities were reported and the CNE took hours to reply.
- unwillingness to apply rules: this is most flagrant at campaign time when the CNE refuses simply to sanction the abuses committed by the regime, in particular those in the use of media time. while the much lesser abuses of the opposition are speedily dealt with.
- accepting the regime electoral calendar: all elections in Venezuela in the past 3 years have been held when ti was convenient for the regime. the most scandalous example being the municipal council election which have been delayed now for soon 4 years. That is, elections are held when it is convenient for the regime, more noticeably in last October, until the very last opportunities the regime had to make public appearances with Chavez alive.
This is of course much less directly measurable, but the general psychological impact over the population cannot be neglected and it gives a built in advantage to the regime that we could safely quantify in a few percentile points.
And see, I did not even need to get into blackmail, vote buying, etc, etc.... And already Capriles is winning!
Note: I am not discussing the pro and cons on running into such a rigged electoral system, that is for another entry. Here, it is a mere inventory.