Reading Between Yoani’s Lines

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    Decrying this as illegal would be handing out the proverbial speeding ticket at the Indianapolis 500. I mean, duh! 

    What strikes me as more interesting is the way this story confirms, in a very roundabout way, the difficulties inherent in hard-rigging Venezuelan election. As I’ve argued again and again recently, in Venezuela the "soft-rig" is out in the open – the gerrymander, the map, the broadcast access gap, the crazy propagandism on VTV, etc. But rigging the actual numerical count is something quite different.

    And Yoani’s story proves it! Because, ask yourself this: if it was possible, if it was the government’s intention to rig the actual numerical count through software trickery in the machines, would they really go to all the trouble to issue cédulas to Cubans? 

    The reality is that there just aren’t enough Cubans in Venezuela to make a difference in a universe of 10-15 million votes. Not for the first time, this circuitous confirmation that a "hard rig" isn’t in the cards leaves me scratching my head as to exactly how a hard-rig could be organized on a big enough scale.

    Any fraud would need to involve massive coordination between thousands and thousands of people dealing with multiple identity cards, serially voting and wiping off indelible ink, with a level of nationwide logistic no one can sneeze at. 

    I continue to find this scenario implausible, or rather I find the notion that they’d be able to conceal an operation on this scale implausible. In Venezuela, no conspiracy involving more than 3 people can last three weeks without being leaked.

    But if you think this can be done, and you can provide a specific, detailed explanation of how thousands of people could be coordinated in this way without any of them goofing up in ways that lay the entire conspiracy bare, I’d love to hear it.

    (By the same token, if all you have to offer is a vague, "they’ll-cheat-because-it’s-in-their-nature-to-cheat" type rant, I don’t think that really advances the debate very much.)

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