Here’s something relatively few people have grasped about this election cycle: the opposition is finally putting on a Ground Game worth the name. A properly thought-out Witness program and Get Out The Vote campaign, designed by ESDATA.info, is being implemented in close coordination between the Student Movement and the MUD.
Of course, the opposition’s ground game can’t rival the government’s in size or resources, but compared with the half-baked, chaos-prone efforts we’ve seen in the past, the opposition is making immense progress on the ground. For the first time in the last 11 years, the opposition isn’t about to just cede the ground to the government. They’re going about it the smart way, too.
To get a sense for what’s afoot, check out this ESDATA video (in Spanish). Trust me, it will handsomely repay 12 minutes of your sustained attention:
Do take the time to watch that video, and then realize that it’s not just bla-bla-bla: they’re really doing it. The effort to field, train, deploy and support witnesses is being carried out with a seriousness of purpose we’ve just never seen before. I spent half my weekend talking to some of the kids running DefiendeTuVoto.com and came away enormously impressed: the level of commitment, planning and enthusiasm being poured into this effort is remarkable.
And so, for the first time ever, it’s likely that we’ll end up with Actas de Escrutinio and Actas de Auditoría for most of the problem Polling Stations in the competitive circuits.
This is a key point, because in too many recent votes the opposition has ended up with far too many witnesses in Middle Class areas that are not really prone to voting irregularities, and few to no witnesses in the areas with the biggest ballot stuffing potential. This time around, the opposition has a clear, articulated strategy to put properly trained witnesses where they matter most, and to provide them support both from people both outside each polling station and back in MUD and Student Movement headquarters.
If you want to participate in this, there’s still time. Sign up at DefiendeTuVoto.com and you’ll get called within a day or two for a training session. You may even still have time to become an accredited witness, and certainly can still join a Get Out The Vote team.
Sign up, go to the training, work that election day…then be sure to come back here to write in and tell us how it went!Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.