International guests from Spain, the U.S., and the U.K visited Caracas Tuesday to know the Venezuelan electronic voting system –which has an electoral platform considered unique in the world-, who were received by representatives of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE).
The Vice President of the CNE, the independent branch of government that oversees elections, Sandra Oblitas, stressed that the international guests visited the country “to see the guarantees offered by the automated system supported by our technicians, who will explain everything about the platform (…) We want to share our electoral system , their strengths and make it open so it can be observed.”
Oblitas said that the international guests did not visit Venezuela as accompaniers, just like it is the case in every election, but because their own interest in the Venezuelan electoral process.
From Spain, visitors included Francisco González Cabaña, from the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), and Guillermo Mariscal, from the Popular Party (PP), while former U.S. representative William Delahunt , chairman of the firm the Delahunt Group, was also part of the delegation.
British journalist and expert on Latin American affairs Hugh O’Shaughnessy was also part of the delegation, as well as British Labor Party politician Mark Grahame Morris.
Telesur correspondent in Venezuela Madelein García reported that the international guests “will have a three-day agenda in Venezuela. They are also expected to visit the campaign headquarters of the presidential candidates to hear their impressions on the electoral process.”
On Wednesday, the international visitors will visit the space where the CNE has the voting machines, and where audits to the poll books are carried out, among other activities, Telesur reported.
According to Telesur correspondent, by 1998 only the vote counting system was automated in Venezuela, but after six years it has been migrated to an electronic technology. Since then, Venezuela is completely sovereign in terms of technology, she said.
This is the first time that the Venezuelan electoral commission receives international visitors who come by their own initiative to observe the electoral process before the election, and not serving as international accompaniers.
The delegates will complete their agenda on Thursday, August 9, when they are expected to have a press conference to make some remarks on the Venezuelan electoral system.
Correo del Orinoco / Press Office-Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / August 8, 2012