The best system for annoying voters

Another proof of the CNE’s efficiency: Doubling down on an expensive and useless logistical bottleneck

The CNE and the Chavernment keep insisting over and over again that Venezuela has the “best electoral system in the World”. I consider that statement a lie, pure and simple.

What I can say to prove my point? Well, on October 7th I waited four endless hours to cast my vote. I wasn’t the only one: either in the capital or in other states, many people were stuck waiting in line for hours on end.

Defenders of the CNE will point to the high turnout of that day. But reality indicates that an unnecessary element was the responsible.

The Electoral Information Station is a “checkpoint” for big electoral centers (three tables or more) where voters were forced to pass and be informed about the table and page of the voting roll where they’re located. Nothing wrong with that in theory. However, that information can be found by voters themselves either on-line or in the lists put outside those voting centers.

It took all day for the CNE to realize of its screw-up. One of the board members declared that using the station was “optional”, which made the process smoother in the afternoon. After the process was over, the electoral authoritah decided to review such station. The opposition has asked to get rid of it but the final decision has gone the other way around.

The station will continue for the December 16th regional elections, but with more laptops.

Talking about missing the forest for the trees: The information station is not needed, except, perhaps, as a tool for chavista insiders to know in real time who has voted and to help them round up their supporters. Other than that, it’s a waste of money, energy and time. Just when the comandante presidente has pledged more efficiency, this is just the opposite.

This bizarre fixation of the CNE with technology makes them more disconnected of the voters they’re supposed to serve. But maybe that’s the whole point. Just ask Socorro.


  1. Yes, Venezuela’s electoral system is terrible because they require voters to be educated about the ballot. And this requires some people to wait in lines!! Oh my god what a disaster! Do you all even try to be objective… even a little bit?

    • I guess you like to be in line for hours waiting to get some information you could have gotten otherwise in a much faster way.

      It’s a matter of efficiency. If a person needs someone to give him this information (like an old person or something like that), then by all means, have someone there to help this person. But why FORCE a person to wait in line if this person is able to get this information by more efficient means like finding it on the web page of the CNE?

      If the people in the government are all like you, then I’m afraid all this Chavez push for efficiency will come to nothing.

    • Maybe you should be educated and learn about the Venezuelan electoral process before giving a opinion on objectivity. The information station did not give any ballot information, they only wrote in a piece of paper the table where you vote, that was unnecessary information is printed in huge list posted right next to the door of the center and you could even check it online before voting. Moreover, the tables are distributed by the two last digits of your cedula, you don’t even need to go to the list to find out where you vote. The station are useless and cost millions of dollars are spent in a mechanism that not only not contributes to give information, but creates bottlenecks of several hours (in my case 4). So, an electoral system that spends millions of dollars to make itself slower for no reason (no legitimate reason at least) is pretty shitty in my opinion.

  2. I should like to know some of the following information.

    How many polling places are there in Venezuela for the national election?
    What is the normal ratio of polling places to voters?
    How many voting stations are there at each polling place?
    How long does it take to cast a ballot? (not counting waiting time)

    Yesterday I early voted (here in Chicago). There are 51 early voting centers in the city, each with IIRC six voting stations. I had to wait about 45 minutes, then voted in about 5 minutes.

    I estimate that about 60 people were waiting in line when I arrived.


    Voter announces name and shows ID (required for early voting only). (20 seconds)

    Election staff look up ballot code (different for every precinct and even with precincts, due to the multipliclty of legislative and judicial districts). (30 seconds)

    Ballot code is programmed into voting token. (30 seconds)

    Voter inserts token into touch-screen station (5 seconds)

    Voter casts votes on touch-screen, reviews votes, casts ballot (4 minutes? Ballot includes two federal offices, two state offices, seven county offices, twenty judgeships, fifty-eight judicial retentions, and four referendums).


    How does this compare to the Venezuelan process?

    Because I can see no reason why voters must wait in line for four hours.

    Incidentally, polls are open on Election Day from 6AM to 7PM. There is roughly one polling place for each 500 voters. Each voting station has one touch-screen station and up to eight booths for marking paper ballots, which are immediately scanned. In general, there are very few times when voters have to wait. Any voter who is in line by 7PM is allowed to vote; I’ve never seen more than five or ten.

    (How many voters are in line when a polling place closes in Venezuela? Does the back-up diminish by end of day? Or is it continuous – and is there an actual opportunity for everyone to vote?)

  3. As a further “improvement” in “the best electoral system in the world”, and as one more substantiation of Ekvall’s claim that Venezuelan voter fraud is a virus constantly changing to allow the survival of its host, the CNE has just approved “block” (“entubado”) voting in the upcoming Governorship/regional elections, so that a voter only has to press one button once to vote for his choice of Governor, and thereby will be automatically voting for all lower-level legislative officials from his party up for election on the ballot, thereby eliminating the need for 3/6/more choices/button-pressings, and possible real choice in cross-party voting. Result: the cattle will be physically taken/coerced to the polls, and told to press the (presumably red) button, and the Oppo will once again be blind-sided in their naivete/innocence.

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