In Venezuela on Tuesday, an audit of the preliminary electoral register found that 99.85 percent of the data is error-free, suggesting that the National Electoral Council (CNE) must revise just 0.15 percent of the total database, which contains the names of the 19.1 million registered voters.
Electoral experts from the country’s various political parties participated in the auditing process, and agreed that only a very small percentage of the data needs to be reviewed. They compared the process to one carried out in 2005 by the Inter American Human Rights Institute’s Center for Electoral Assessment and Promotion, which had a 2 percent rate of errors.
The fraction that needs review is equivalent to 28,000 people, the data for which, according to Vicente Bello of the conservative party Comando Venezuela, should be reviewed because the names match but the ID numbers do not.
Bello called for the review, however he admitted that it is a “small number,” given that over 99 percent of the register was deemed accurate.
During the auditing on Tuesday, opposition representatives asked the CNE for the ID numbers of the registered voters to check it against those of the more than 1.4 million that registered from June 2011 through April 2012.
A technician from the Communist Party of Venezuela recalled that this request is unconstitutional, given that the country’s Supreme Court of Justice ruled in favor of the confidentiality of voter information in 2004.
He said that under the old two-party system (from 1958 to 1998), the social democratic party known as Acción Democrática managed voter information in a fraudulent way. He urged his colleagues to be on alert for similar behavior.
Regarding the request for a review, César Alvarado, the national director of the Office of Electoral Registration, said that each case will be considered, as has been done in the past with regard to requests by political party representatives.
“We will make the corresponding review, but, without a doubt, we are talking about a very small number,” he said.
For the first 15 days of this month, citizen audits are also allowed, which give voters that registered between June 2011 and April 2012 the chance to present complaints and correct any errors that may have occurred as they registered or updated their information.
Alvarado said that his office has received 72 requests for inclusion into the electoral register, 148 complaints by those who do not see their registration reflected in the list, 596 requests to correct ID numbers, and 255 complaints regarding a change of voting station.
He called on citizens to verify their information through the CNE website, and in Venezuela, by calling 0800VOTEMOS (8683676) or sending a text message to CNE-R (2637).
AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / May 9, 2012