Listen, I understand how “count every vote” is an appealing slogan: bumperstickable and easy to understand and hard to resist.
It’s also a red herring: the evidence of fraud, if fraud happened, isn’t some exotic species out there that you have to go out and hunt. The evidence of fraud, if fraud did happen, is already in the thousands of paper-based hand-tally reports from the “hot audit” now in the hands of opposition witnesses all over the country. That hot audit has done as a matter of routine in a randomly-selected 54% of all voting tables on election night after every vote since 2005, and includes at least one table in every voting center in the country. MUD’s job now – and it’s not a trivial one – is to put all those tally-sheets under one roof, key them into a computer, and check.
This is a message that’s gotten badly muddled by MUD’s communication strategy: they’re talking about the evidence as though it was something they’ll have to struggle to secure. If that’s the case, they’re shit out of luck, because they’ll get nothing but obstructionism and delay from a rojo, rojito CNE.
Maybe that’s just a holding operation while they gather, centralize, data-input and analyze the tens of thousands of paper-based tally sheets produced by every automatic machine around the country, and the tally-sheets from the hand-audits that were already done on 54% of them. Yes systematizing all that paper-based data will be somewhat time-consuming. Yes they’re working hard on this. But no, it’s not a process the government is in a position to prevent any longer.
So we should be clear: the evidence of fraud, if there was fraud, isn’t some exotic species of wildlife you need to go out there and hunt for. It’s more like a lazy cat: extremely domesticated, loafing around on your couch and not going anywhere.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.