The worst elections in Latin America

Just how bad are our elections?

Well, now we can quantify this! Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Sydney have launched The Electoral Integrity Project, a non-profit research venture that looks to quantify and compare elections worldwide using surveys of election observers and experts. Among the issues they survey are electoral procedures, voter registration, vote count, and results.

Which country had the cleanest election, according to this instrument? It should surprise no one that Norway’s 2013 Legislative election was ranked the cleanest. In latin America, Costa Rica’s 2014 Presidential election was ranked first, and 4th in the world overall. Among the worst: Equatorial Guinea’s 2013 legislative election, and Syria’s 2014 presidential contest.

As for Venezuela, the ranking reflects what we know. Hugo Chávez’s 2012 election was ranked 77th in the world, scoring best in terms of “Results” (I assume it’s timeliness and accuracy) and “Vote Count,” and worst in “Campaign Finance” and “Media Coverage.” (That right there should be indicative that the survey is getting someting right.)

What about Maduro’s 2013 election?

It ranks 110 out of 127 elections they have surveyed, the worst in Latin America. It scores particularly poorly in campaign finance, electoral authorities, and results. Just to give you a sense of how bad it was, Egypt’s 2014 presidential election (which saw dictator Gral. El-Sisi elected) is ranked a mere five spots below Maduro’s election.

As for our upcoming parliamentary elections, the project lists it as “one to watch.” Indeed.

The data is donwloadable, if you’re into this kind of stuff.