English | News | 1 octubre 2012

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council uses ballot confusion to favor Chávez

Last week, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council announced that all votes cast for the Unidad Democratica (Democratic Unity) party–which as you can see on the sample ballot (tarjetón electoral) below, features the picture of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles (circled in red)–will not be counted as votes for Capriles, but rather will go to little known candidate Reina Sequera*.

One might think that nobody will fall for this, but given that 1) the Unidad Democratica option on the ballot includes Capriles’ picture, 2) the opposition coalition under which Capriles was nominated is called the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (Democratic Unity Roundtable), 3) the Unidad Democratica option is «higher» (further up and to the left) on the ballot than all other voting options for Capriles, and 4) Capriles is the named candidate of the “Unidad” (united opposition coalition), many Venezuelans will undoubtedly vote for this Unidad Democratica option thinking that they are voting for Henrique Capriles.

In the interest free and fair elections, the National Electoral Council should have never allowed this change. Their doing so is merely another in a long list of examples of favoritism and bias exhibited by what is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of Venezuela’s elections. The National Electoral Council’s ongoing failure to regulate presidential candidate Hugo Chávez use of public media and the now-infamous cadena broadcasts (literally «chain» or mandatory national blanket broadcasts) is another.

*As part of her electoral platform, Reina Sequera is offering US$ 1 million to each Venezuelan if she wins.

Originally posted at the Devil’s Excrement based on an article at Globovisión

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