Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pre-election Update 

Readers will recall that a few days ago I pointed out that there was some confusion regarding the number of ballot boxes that would be audited during the upcoming elections to the National Assembly. I thought that the President of the Electoral Authority (CNE) misspoke when he seemed to indicate that one ballot box at each voting site would be audited and that that constituted 1% of the ballot boxes.

Today there was clarification and indeed that was wrong. There are 9,265 voting centers each with about 3 electronic voting machines each of which has a corresponding ballot box. Rodriguez made it clear that there will be a random selection at each voting center to chose one box to open and manually count all of the ballots. So the total percentage of ballots examined will be about 33% - obviously a lot more than the 1% mentioned previously.

Rodriguez also made it clear that the workers stationed at the polling centers, representatives from all political parties and as many ordinary citizens as will fit in the rooms will participate in the audits.

On a final note Rodriguez said the CNE hopes to hear soon from the European Union as to whether or not they will be sending election observers .


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