Hate CNE? Love a Witness

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El Chorizo. If the hand-audit doesn't match it, everyone can tell.
El Chorizo. If the hand-audit doesn't match it, everyone can tell.
El Chorizo. If the hand-audit doesn’t match it, everyone can tell.

No one will be surprised that Juan and I don’t really agree on how the opposition should respond to what is, by all accounts, a hideously one-sided, partisan chavista CNE. Because, to be clear, virtually no one in the opposition thinks CNE’s board is even remotely impartial. We just disagree on what to do about it.

For me, the key insight is that Venezuela’s electoral system is, in a way, the World’s Most Expensive Pencil. Given the paper-trail and the multiple auditing checks, for a voto chimbo to be counted as real, you have to cheat physically, at the machine, at the voting-center level.

There is some evidence that this happens. But it happens where MUD either doesn’t have witnesses, or where MUD witnesses are isolated, outnumbered, intimidated, cowed and marginalized.

If our goal is better elections with less scope for votos chimbos, with more opposition turnout and with appropriate checks and guarantees that allow us to ganar y cobrar, then complaining about CNE, issuing demands to CNE and pointing out the obvious about CNE won’t really bring us any closer to meeting those goals.

What gets us closer to achieving those goals is recruiting, mobilizing, training, supporting and empowering witnesses and volunteers in the 5,000+ voting centers MUD has already identified as at risk for abusive/intimidatory tactics by the chavista machine.

Because that’s where the problem is, at the centro de votación level.

When our people are there, at the voting center, organized and empowered, getting votos chimbos into the mix becomes hard, hard, hard.

Arguing that CNE is hideously partial isn’t a strategy. It’s a declaration of the damn obvious. We can’t count on them to solve that problem for us. We have to solve that problem ourselves. And we can. If we work it.

1 COMMENT

  1. How exactly do you “empower” a witness?

    You give him spinach? you tell him “you have the power!”?

    what do you do ?

    • 1-You train her, you make sure she knows the rules better than anyone else there, you make sure she’s confident and won’t let herself get walked all over.

      2-You accompany her. You make sure she knows people’ve her back outside the voting center. You make sure if a little chavista crowd shows up to try to push her around, a little opposition crowd is right there alongside him backing her up.

      3-You solve problems for her. You arrange rides to and from. You make sure somebody’s getting her breakfast, lunch and dinner. You arrange childcare for her.

      When you have a trained, fed, focused, backed up witness at the center, a confident, assertive witness, you *dramatically* narrow the scope for votos chimbos. But it’s a big organizational task. It takes time and money and gumption and tons of work.

      • All this “him/her”, “his/hers”, “him/herself” is a bit too much. Especially when seasoned with the verb “to empower”.

        Political correctness is enforced at the expense of succinctness.

        Anyway, this government needs a bit more than accurate vote counting to be defeated. It needs to be buried in a landslide (say, a 75% to 25% result). That is the real challenge: to mobilise that mixture of anger, hope and thirst for change that seems to simmer without never coming to boiling point in Venezuela.

        You see the opposition feeding that fire?

        Super empowered, well-fed, spoiled testigos y testigas can only do so much.

        • Spoiled witnesses?
          Hombre, tú como que jamás saliste del Este de Caracas salvo para ir a Maiquetía o a Morrocoy.
          No tienes ni idea de lo que tienen que hacer los testigos fuera de esas zonas mientras que en Chacao hay gente para abanicar a los que abanican a los testigos.

        • Sorry, hit the like button when I meant to hit the reply button. There is a saying that if you don’t like the argument, you attack the one with the argument. Well done, Alejandro.

          • Alejandro doesn’t have a clue because Alejandro hasn’t been a witness in an area where there are no spoiled people.

            He didn’t get a point at all. It is not about “spoiling”. The vast majority of witnesses do their work under precarious conditions while the leaders spend a rather comfortable time in Chacaíto or El Trigal.

          • Calling the reply to be politically correct, Alejandro. His/her is the gramatically correct way to write when one does not know the gender of the subject. So, stick to the subject.

          • hgdam, it was grammatically incorrect. The pronouns were switched, sometimes mid sentence. They are not interchangeable.

            1-… her, … she … he’s … herself …

            2-… her. …she … her … … her … him … her…

            I agree with Alejandro that readability suffers.

        • Luckily enough all recent polls have the government losing the generic ballot 2-to-1, suggesting the opposition will end up with 75% of the AN seats.

          (you’re right though that the his/her got clunky – fixed…)

          • Yep, so it appears.

            Labour also thought polls were accurate.

            You see the opposition translating polls into votes?

            I hope they can.

          • Honestly, the opposition doesn’t matter this year. Nothing they say/do in the campaign will make that much of a difference one way or another, para empezar cuz they have no damn media access.

            This election is about the fundamentals: people saying the country is on the wrong track by a 4-to-1 margin. Three-digit inflation. Rampant shortages. Economic chaos. Deep anger at Maduro. Enormous rage at how fucked up the country is on the part of the people the government would most need to mobilize to win.

            The government isn’t competitive electorally in these circumstances. No government could be. If they’re crazy enough to call a vote, they’ll get shredded.

          • But Tibi already said, albeit in rather vague terms, that we will have elections some time between October and December. Do you think she doesn’t mean it?

          • Hmm, I think the opposition can only go the extra inch if they present an appealing narrative.

            Negative campaigning can win, sure, but more than a victory is needed now. Venezuela needs a new story to replace the revolution.

            Remember, a Parliament can be emasculated. The thing here is to create a wave of rejection, a divorce, if you will, between chavismo and its base.

            That divorce is at hand… if the opposition can stop bickering.

          • Agreed, the classic “ANYONE but them” desperation scenario.

            It can happen. No idea if it will but it definitely can.

        • Sorry, hit the like button when I meant to hit the reply button. There is a saying that if you don’t like the argument, you attack the one with the argument. Well done, Alejandro.

        • “All this “him/her”, “his/hers”, “him/herself” is a bit too much. Especially when seasoned with the verb “to empower”.

          Political correctness is enforced at the expense of succinctness.”

          Actually is not about political correctness but about gender equality. Why always refer to “him” in a sentence? Sociology answers that question via Conflict Theory or Feminist Theory.

          Thanks, Francisco.

      • You also need to give him/her a legal framework to act within his/her authority and role.
        The Chavista CNE has systematically modified the law and the jurisprudence , el uso y la constumbre, in electoral matters.

        In the event of having super empowered and logistically supported voluntarios y miembros de mesa (funcionario electroal electo como servcio civico, a la jury) the legal case fro any numercial inconsistency at the poll station (and by extension in the tallying and totalization) pivots in the construct of the “comprobante de scrutinised.

        The Maquina smartmatic, does not emit a comprobnate de escrutinio proper, but a pater receipt (I forgot how this is called now) that validates to each voter, that his chosen option matches what the pater receipt says (no way to validate that the tally has matches it!).

        All the leguleyo fails on this point. There is no Comprobante de Escrutinio to base as a evidence in any potential case. (and there is no rule of law or independent courts to seek justice…)

        Mucho hacemos con los enpoderados testigos!

        BTW general comment to many opinions below! Venezuela has gone through very successful volunteer based electoral organization watch dog experiences, successful enough to warrant total elimination by the government and some opposition parties, anyone remembers Sumate anymore?

        Why in Venezuela we have to start again from cero every time?

        • Sorry I do not want to sound negative.

          The solution is one of force.
          Force can mean an overwhelming participation on voting day and a decisive follow up to support escrutinio publico (imposible with machines btw, because no one can verify that the tally matches what the acta impresa states.) and the proverbial “collecting!”.

          Force when all this fails.
          And force to remove the criminal regime that runs the estate.

          Also, force every day on the street and via organization to raise the cost of fraude to the regime. Asking candidly every other day, on media, demanding rather! to Tiby that the CNE must set a date, does not constitute force.

          They laugh at us every day….

          Again, the military will make a choice, me fajo con la resitencia en la calle, o me fajo a sacar a la cupula criminal.

      • Excelent! This is the way. However is not what the opposition does and the civil society is not willing to do it by themselves (at least not all of them).

    • You coordinate transportation for that witness. Most people in Venezuela do NOT have a car, even if petrol is almost for free.
      You make sure your candidate and their closest allies have set up a plan to get actas as soon as possible to the corresponding centres. You make sure every witness knows several people are waiting for him outside to defend him, that he knows that at 11pm, at 12, at 1am he or she can go safely to the party’s centre with a copy of the actas, no matter what Tibisay says about “tendencia irreversible”.

      You make sure that instead of having 20 helpers for every witness in El Hatillo or Prebo or Chacao or El Hatillo, you have them in Southern Valencia, in Tocuyito, in Yare, in Ocumare del Tuy.

  2. You can have an entire opposition baseball team, armed with aluminum bats, plus a Navy Seal team 6 “witnessing ” each “voting center”. Plus 80% of the people voting for Mudcrap.

    With Chavez’s Smartmatic y el Mago Jorge Rodriguez, they’ll just have more fun re-electing Maduro.

    Can’t wait.

        • The guy basically gives you the solution and refutes all his own arguments when he says:

          “You could have an audit trail, you could have a paper backup that the machine prints out as you vote.”

          His only objection? it is expensive:

          “in which case, congratulations, you have just invented the world’s most expensive pencil”

          he even compares it to pencil voting, therefore eliminating all the other objections. That pretty much proves the point: a printed audit trail makes the system reliable.

          That is essentially what you have en Venezuela.

          • Except in one of Floyd’s references, in a U. S. voting machine test, some 2/3rds or so of the voters did not even notice on their printed paper receipts that their vote had been flipped=90% or so in ignorant/uneducated Venezuela–who even needs ballot stuffing with this kind of “accountability” ?

          • So you are saying that in a test of some voting machines 2 out of 3 voters did not notice that the printed ballot did no coincide with their selection?
            If that is the case, I would point out that they probably did not care much for the test since it was not a real election. It was not even a real test of a voting machine, since this one flipped the votes. It was a test of the voters. Who knows what were the circumstances in that “test”?

            More importantly, that means 1/3 of the voters DID NOTICE the change.

            That completely rules out that possibility of fraud, since a fraud conducted that way would be discovered practically immediately. Also, you can be sure that after the first one cries wolf, everyone else is going to thoroughly check their ballots. In an environment so rife with distrust as Venezuela’s you do not even need to be told once to check.

          • I’m glad that 1/3 (more like 1/10 if lucky) of the voters in remote/rural/uneducated PSUV-dominated areas who vote Oppo might get their votes reversed, if they are successful at complaining. But, the real fraud is probably not committed in this way–it’s by stuffing some of the 6 million or so non-registered voters, but counted as registered in the REP, into the thousands of voting centers where the Oppo will not have witnesses.

          • What the machine prints and what is sending through its connection to another part of the system might be really different.

            It could print a receipt saying you voted for the MUD, but the SW might even be built to keep track of how many votes are against the regime, so they can know later how many fake votes they could add after 6pm or even when trampasay’s gonna drive her “tendencia irreversible” drill through our skulls.

            Again, the “chorizo” doesn’t matter, this is thousands of times worse than the fabled “acta mata voto”, because here is “todo lo demás mata voto”.

          • “What the machine prints and what is sending through its connection to another part of the system might be really different.”

            And that is easily noticed when you tally your totals and compare them with the CNE totals. Furthermore you can check each acta against the acta published by the CNE. No one has find any differences so far.

          • “I’m glad that 1/3 (more like 1/10 if lucky) of the voters in remote/rural/uneducated PSUV-dominated areas who vote Oppo might get their votes reversed, if they are successful at complaining.”

            You are missing the point NET. As soon as two or three people cry fraud everyone else will check their ballot and the fraud is going to be evident for all to see. That is simply not a feasible way of conducting a fraud. It will be discovered after the third or fourth voter.

            ” stuffing some of the 6 million or so non-registered voters, but counted as registered in the REP, into the thousands of voting centers where the Oppo will not have witnesses.”

            That kind of fraud can happen with or without voting machines.
            Like Toro says the only solution to that is to have witnesses everywhere.

          • “…And that is easily noticed when you tally your totals and compare them with the CNE totals.”

            We’re still waiting for the 2007 exact results to be published in CNE’s page, trampasay stated some numbers, but the CNE never published them in their page, so, how could anybody prove that they were manipulating the data? Your argument fails with that example.

            “…You are missing the point NET. As soon as two or three people cry fraud everyone else will check their ballot and the fraud is going to be evident for all to see. That is simply not a feasible way of conducting a fraud. It will be discovered after the third or fourth voter.”

            Except that plan republica goons or anybody else will just haul your sorry ass to the nearest tomb if you ever dare to complain about your choice NOT being the one printed in the famous receipt.

            http://www.laverdad.com/politica/52986-detienen-a-mujer-por-romper-papeleta-electoral-en-san-cristobal.html

            http://www.venezuelaawareness.com/2014/05/25m-detienen-a-mujer-por-romper-papeleta-electoral-en-san-cristobal/

            Let me put the value quote here: “…la dama protestó porque le dio su voto a Patricia Ceballos y le apareció en la papeleta el candidato del PSUV” wich into good ol’ english is “…the lady protested because she gave her vote to Patricia Ceballos and in the receipt appeared the candidate of pusv”

            So, your “infallible cry of fraud that’ll spread like wildfire” means NOTHING in front of a bunch of malandros armed to the teeth.

          • Your own example demonstrates that flipping the vote and then printing it would be an absurd way to try to defraud the voting: it gets noticed immediately and everyone gets alerted. They can even read about it in the news, even more if they detain those crying foul.

            Ask yourself, if this was indeed a real attempt at fraud:
            Did the fraud work?
            Did they win the election by flipping exactly one vote?
            Did no one else check their ballots before or after?
            Or maybe no more ballots were flipped, just hers?

            I think it is much more probable that she was a shill from the PSUV or that she inadvertently selected the wrong option than that it was an attempt at fraud since the last possibility is clearly never going to work and gets discovered immediately.

          • “Your own example demonstrates that flipping the vote and then printing it would be an absurd way to try to defraud the voting: it gets noticed immediately and everyone gets alerted. ”
            Nice way of missing my point, I NEVER SAID the machine printed ANYTHING DIFFERENT than what the person choose, I said it SENT the botched digital data, while keeping the actual data.

            “Ask yourself, if this was indeed a real attempt at fraud:
            Did the fraud work?”
            It did, no one on their sane mind would vote for an imbecile like maburro, but let’s go a bit more back, since 2005, no more than 10% could’ve keep voting compulsively for the most corrupt government ever, yet they always claim they won by ridiculously close margins.

            “Did they win the election by flipping exactly one vote?”
            They flipped more than 500 thousands, maybe more, maybe less.

            “Did no one else check their ballots before or after?
            Or maybe no more ballots were flipped, just hers?”
            What are ballots good for if the machine is sending data towards the CÑE that doesn’t reflect what you voted for? I NEVER said the machine would PRINT A BOTCHED TICKET.

            “I think it is much more probable that she was a shill from the PSUV”
            That makes no sense, chavistas have proven that they’ll vote for anything the corpse told them to vote for.

            “…or that she inadvertently selected the wrong option than that it was an attempt at fraud since the last possibility is clearly never going to work and gets discovered immediately.”
            Yeah, sure, go cut somebody else with that stick, the spaces to push in the machine are so separated one from another, that only an elephant could push the wrong option “by accident”.

          • Si, Luis. That’s why Chavez, Cabello and Jorge Rodriguez hand-picked Smartmatic and developed it for you. And that’s why all of Europe despises that crap.

            A “reliable” system, printed audit trail? You are serious, huh?

            Talk to you after Masburro “wins” again.

          • I’m sorry Floyd but that is what your friend in the video is saying, take it up with him.

          • ain’t no my friend of mine, although I like the UK Manual Paper System. Seems that Quico believes Chavezmatic is the same.

    • oh, and meanwhile, in these laughable “Parlamentarias” (as if we had a Parliament), they’ll just buy, cheat or transform 75% opposition into 52%, strategically allocated for Diosdado to have fun with.

      With or without witnesses, with 50% or just 30% abstentionism.

      Still, we should all go bitch, witness and vote, seriously.

      And then do the Baile del Bachaco Bolibanana, a ver si llueven mangos.

          • Floyd is beggining to sound more and more as a troll who assummes a violent anti chavista stance while telling us a hundred different ways , almost to desperation , why no one should vote !! who is he favouring with this kind of rant , He will back track now and then go at it again.

            We must vote whatever the direct outcome , because even if they commit fraud it will be found out and will futher discredit the regime , we must vote because forcing to commit fraud is a win for us vs simply staying at home , because our dignity demands that we express the best way we can our rejection of the regime .!!

            I am with Toro in believing that their chances of stealing all votes is marginal or incomplete and that voting is a must for every member of the oppo. If you follow baseball you know that even the best better never bats a 1000 , but that it if does not bat he will never have a chance at a home run.

          • Bill, so you now revert to ad hominems only because I destroyed your opinions on denying the Resource Curse with countless expert studies, and because I believe, like all of Europe, that electronic voting is unreliable, that Chavez’s Smartmatic is a FRAUD, and that these machines can easily be hacked?

            Grow up.

          • BTW, Retard (since you call me Troll), I never said we should no vote. I wrote exactly the opposite. A new pair of glasses and your daily vitamins might come in handy before talking crap.

          • Using the word ‘retard’ to discredit the person you’re arguing with is tasteless and revolting. Please, stop doing it. It’s not about ‘political correctness’, it’s about being responsible with your words and avoid denigrating innocent people with them.

    • After reading a few of your comments I have come to this conclusion: you are obsessed by the tree and don’t give a damn about the forest.

      FRAUD DOESNT MATTER.

      Like in 1957, what matters is 1) a divorce between government and its base and 2) the consolidation of a new permanent majority,

      When you have 80% of the population consistently against you… you are done mate. Smartmatic on not.

      • As I wrote before, Diosdado, Rodriguez and Company are not that stupid. They will probably allow for a small “defeat” in the laughable, useless “parlamentarias”, turning the 80% against into just, say, 54%. Piece of cake, so many ways.. they won’t even need to ask for an “extension” till 8pm again..

        Then, they’ll use Fraudtmatic for the Presidential ones, and that’s when I think the shit will finally hit the fan.

      • “When you have 80% of the population consistently against you… you are done mate. Smartmatic on not.”

        So, is this like 2005 AGAIN??? Where LESS THAN 13% VOTED FOR CHABURRISMO?

        • No, it’s like 2004, when a 60/40 loss was turned into a 60/40 win. Obviously the Oppo needs to get more witnesses out there, but please raise hands all those who, for example, want to/can witness at: prisons, military bases, milicia centers, Colectivo-controlled areas, 23 De Enero, Mision Vivienda buildings, the 5m “ambulatory voting machines” mounted on a jeep with no fixed location, y se para de contar. The CNE is more an ancillary pro-Regime problem than the real problem. And, we haven’t even talked about the Cristopher Bello intranet electronic vote-stuffing allegations. To think that the Regime may allow a couple % loss because of those “Pelucon/allied” polls may well prove naive.

  3. Francisco, I agree with you, I do think you are way too optimistic the majority of the time but you are right in this case. Like it or not the opposition will go to the elections with the current conditions and it needs to be prepared.
    I personally believe the opposition shouldn’t have participated in the 2012 and 2013 elections. Once you participate you know the conditions and the possibilities you can’t cry fraud after the fact.

    • Yeah, that is an excellent strategy, to let the government present itself alone to elections.

      That has always worked brilliantly for the opposition.

      • You are right, in 2005 was terrible, but even then the Chavista Congress advanced the revolution at a slower pace than when the opposition won 45% of the seats. If in 2013 the opposition had not participated in the election I believe we could have gained some leverage and some concessions. At that time we did not have anything to lose and internationally it would have been a legitimacy problem for the government.
        Right now, we don’t have any other option but to participate.

      • “Yeah, that is an excellent strategy, to let the government present itself alone to elections.”

        No, the brilliance comes when the leaders decide not to “cobrar” and send everybody to their homes to listen salsa.

        It happened in 2005 (As much as it hurts people here to accept it), it happened AGAIN in 2006, and YET AGAIN in 2013.

        As much as you hate the idea, the so called “leaders” MUST be the ones who give the FIRST step to “cobrar” the victory stolen by fraud.

  4. Quico, I agree with your views here. Let’s do something about it. Logistics is expensive. I am willing to seed a fundraising to support the logistics. Specifically, I am willing to contribute $5,000 to a fundraising aimed at defending fair elections. I know Chuo Torrealba, but instead of sending him the money…what about an initiative that not only raises money but serves to recruit witnesses and educates people about the collective responsibility of defending fair elections?

    I don’t think CC or Efecto Cocuyo are the right channels, but there are lessons there that could help.

  5. Ok, long time reader, first time commenting.

    You guys seem to love the idea of voting, the MUD and all of the paparruchas, so I’ll just leave this here: https://twitter.com/ComandoSB/status/593558291537616896

    Capriles: “Aquí la gente no se va a ir, ni la oposición se va a ir, ni el gobierno se va a ir, hay que convivir” Yea… Convivir… You can’t make this shit up.

    If abstentionism is voting for them, and working for them for free like Chuo said… If abstentionism is silly, is idiotic, is whatever you wanna call it, then what is this crap?

    Everyone is worried about ”abstentionism” instead of getting worry about the MUD, and voting for them again… But don’t keep calm I guess, go vote so you can coexist with the government mientras descargas la arrechera con la cacerola, in the meantime, you may get robbed or killed, or perhaps you can wait in line to try and acquire some basic products… Who knows, maybe dancing salsa will make it more pleasant.

    If you believe the MUD is the solution, then you are either naive or playing dumb, the MUD and most of the opposition are corrupted.

    Oh BTW… Let’s imagine that the MUD is actually the way to go and not corrupted, that voting will go smooth without any fraud… Do you *really* believe that the government will just resign and give Capriles la cinta presidencial? Do you *really* believe that after being 16+ years in the power, getting rich… They will just give it all up so someone else can be president?

      • I love how the blame is on people that don’t vote, instead of the ”opposition” — The same opposition where his leader is saying ”el gobierno no se va, hay que convivir” … The same opposition that called fraud and solve it with bailar salsa y cacerolas… The same opposition where one of its biggest figures is getting paid trough B.O.D by his BFF Victor Vargas… The same opposition that said no to sanctions on human right violators ”because they where against Venezuela”

        Yup, it seems to me they want to get rid of the regimen!

        Aaaaaaaaand of course there’s no comment against what Capriles said, because the MUDLIEbers must vote no matter what.

        So, let’s just all go vote, call fraud, tell people to dance salsa and wait for the next elections? After all, it worked last time, right?

        Sorry, but no, I’ll never vote for the MUD. But hey, if you want to, go and do it, give it a whirl… It may work this time…

        … Meanwhile they are all laughing their way to the bank while the pueblo suffers day in and day out the penurias because some people just want the money and power no matter what.

        Por que ir a votar si no se va a defender — como minimo — el voto?

          • Sigh… My perspective of the MUD? That will change when we get rid of the oposicion oficialista. Or you mean my perspective of defender el voto? Yea, seems like last time worked pretty well.

            The problem is the MUD and the ”opposition” But you are in your right to believe and defend the corrupts, after all, the chavistas do the same thing.

            Elections with an actual leader that has the balls to call out and be there on the street with the people is what is needed, along with manual vote… Not someone saying that after 16+ years of failure you should still go and vote, and what happens if you lose? Go home, dance salsa, and wait for the next elections mientras convives con el gobierno.

            Do you really believe that MUD is suffering the same penurias que sufre el pueblo and they want to get rid of the government?

    • No one is suggesting that the government will resign and just give Capriles the presidency. But a massive vote against the regime, even under the rigged system, will make it a LOT harder for Maduro and company on the international level, and signal that they are on their way out. A corrupt, fascist regime relies a lot on cultivating an aura of invincibility, once that is pricked it never comes back and (with the deterioration and anger in the country what it is) could lead to a rapid collapse

  6. I can only say that I agree with every bit of this article. One thing I must add to answer a few doubts from the comments:

    The effort done within the MUD to have a witness at every voting table with a network of support is monumental. Not only that, but the training and preparations are provided several weeks before the process. Part of it is to explain how the system work and the other one is to instil confidence.

    Also, there are several websites already set up to gather volunteers. There are online resources for volunteers. There has also been pay for volunteers. There is support outside. There is food provided. There are dozens of people raising money for sustaining and assisting the volunteer on election day. There are also a myriad of contributors for this cause.

    The only thing to feel sorry about is the fact that the MUD has not made efforts to showcase this. A great deal of this failure is probably that after loosing an election, not only is everything campaign related over, but one is also frustrated with very little energy to actually create a full on report. Nonetheless that was created for these last elections just not circulated publicly. I don’t think is secret, just not showcased.

    My experience in Petare has been great. I couldn’t ask for more support. I can’t speak for other places as the MUD is very decentralized when it comes to these matters. But there are lots of cuatriboleados out there watching for the votes. They are simply untold stories. We always here of all these failures but we seldom talk about the hundreds of successes that we had. Albeit not enough, but a very good record.

    What I remember from that report is that over 90% of the voting tables had witnesses (the actual number is 98% I think) and the remaining percent accounts for very little votes. All kinds of efforts have been done to try to correlate fraud with these 2% with little success. This again because ballot stuffing, whether you use Smartmatic or not is possible. Like Quico said: “Smartmatic is an expensive pencil”. Unless we audit the notebooks there is really no use in checking anything else.

    It is so much of an expensive pencil that legally the electronic tally has no validity. The only thing that are legally binding are the ‘actas’ or chorizos.

    Manual vote should be the standard, but not so much for fraud, but for ease of use and economic rational (although it would also be a major confidence booster).

    Again, if you really want to pitch in, donate, but particularly, be a volunteer.

    • 98% of the voting tables in VENEZUELA had Oppo witnesses–absolutely a mathematical/practical IMPOSSIBILITY. Obviously the actas should be opened to prove fraud, but good luck with that.

      • Thinking positively, the MUD should say, “We know there’s going to be ventajismo for the Regime , we know there’s going to be fraud, but the only way to unseat this Regime is by voting–expressing the massive discontent with the staus quo, which, even if temporarily subverted, will eventually be the Regime’s downfall (the 1957 plebiscite as an example)”–this is the message for the Oppo faithful to turn out in force, but not for the Regime’s faithful/dependents who will be obligated/coerced to vote the PSUV line. To say that the MUD has 98% Oppo voting center witness coverage is just to further undermine their credibility with their own Oppo faithful….

          • I believe you. That said, last time 2% was all that was needed to rig the election.

            Anyway, a 75 to 25% result can’t be concealed by any means.

          • “Anyway, a 75 to 25% result can’t be concealed by any means.”

            It was done in 2005, where chaburrismo had only less than 13%, but the so-called leaders of the opposition at the time suddenly turned 180º and decided to shut up about debunking the government.

    • Rodrigo : I am inclined to agree with your ideas above except that I remember reading an El Universal article sometime after the Maduro election in which a Forensic Specialist showed that where the poll stations consisted of only one or two tables and were located at isolated places controlled by colectivos , comunas and the like the high percentage of Maduro votes and abnormally low absentiism allowed Maduro to scape certain defeat. . The number of these polling stations were not that many but their votes appear to have given Maduro the edge to formally win the election . This appears to suggest that ballot stuffing in places where they are no oppo witnesses or these can be more easily intimidated is perhaps the biggest weapon in the regimes arsenal of electoral frauds. In this regard I read in the papers recently that the CNE was creating 990 new polling stations mostly in out of the way places. Is this going to be their main means of attempting to control electoral results in their favour ??

    • “Smartmatic is an exensive pencil”.

      Sure! it cost the Venezuela AND Brazil their last elections (both, coincidentally, after the 5pm cafecito to fix some internet shit..)

  7. Leopoldo was in charge of making sure witnesses were present in the last election.

    Ledezma was superb at getting the vote out in the Metropolitan area of Caracas

    Both were jailed so that they would not do it again.

    • Ledezma was jailed. Leopoldo turned himself in. There is a difference.

      LL’s imprisonment is the consequence of taking a failed strategy to the extreme. Sure, he is a political prisoner, a “represaliado”; BUT still he made a monumental mistake: to believe he could bring down this government on the street.

      I hope they, and all other, political prisoners will be freed and their jailers taken to justice. I also hope certain opposition leaders learn to correctly evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

      • “…taking a failed strategy ”

        Get off that body, ramón medina, you only missed the “he dug his own grave” bit.

        “…BUT still he made a monumental mistake: to believe he could bring down this government on the street.”

        And the rest of the MUD made an even worse mistake: Not claiming victory and sending their voters home to “listen salsa”

        • “La Salida” was what a political scientist would call a Total Fuck Up.

          It had about the same chance of success as that of homepathy curing AIDS.

          Get over it.

          • The Exit wasn’t planned, it begun when a bunch of people got the last straw when some vielma mora’s bodyguards tried to rape a female student in Táchira.

            Send the people home to listen salsa in the face of a blatant fraud has even less effect than trying to use mints to cure cancer.

            So, get over it.

  8. Agree with everything on this note but the whole Leamsy vs Puzkas note did get me thinking about real-time polling and how that´s come massively into play in the logenvity of the revolution… Besides whatever conspiracy theories about the whole machine voting and creation of votos chimbos, what is certain is that with machine voting the CNE can track (and report) real time participation. The chavista machine knows to the last digit how many people has voted (and potentially who) every single minute. Coupling that with past elections split by camp, the PSUV lists, the Tascon list and they can get a very accurate picture of how many votes are needed where to change the election.
    Countries using regular pencil voting cannot afford this luxury (it wouldn´t even be legal to share this information with a party, saying the real-time data even existed). So yes, we need witnesses and lots of it, and people needs to vote even if process is hopelessly rigged. But assuming the oppo cannot get the same real-time info the government is getting on participation by voting center (I´m sure they have asked), first this needs to be known and denounced as a massive liability to the machine voting process, people needs to start playing the game and going to vote late (they have asked for this before), we also need to beat them at their game and encourage people to register and ask new voters to register in unconventional locations, making it easier for people who doesnt want to vote for them to either vote for the oppo undercover or not to be forced to vote in the 11th hour.

  9. “What the machine prints and what is sending through its connection to another part of the system might be really different.

    It could print a receipt saying you voted for the MUD, but the SW might even be built to keep track of how many votes are against the regime, so they can know later how many fake votes they could add after 6pm or even when trampasay’s gonna drive her “tendencia irreversible” drill through our skulls.

    Again, the “chorizo” doesn’t matter, this is thousands of times worse than the fabled “acta mata voto”, because here is “todo lo demás mata voto”.

    EXACTLY. And for those who still believe in Maria Lionza or Santa Claus or that the CNE’s Intranet is impenetrable and any freaking computer system system can’t be hacked, easily with malicious software, I suggest you either grow up, or ask the Experts, such as Christopher Bello. (Some may not be available after after 6pm, if any fixing is being done)

      • BTW the caption on the post’s pic says it all:
        “El Chorizo. If the hand-audit doesn’t match it, everyone can tell.”

        The only way to validate that the “corizo” matches what the totalization publishes is to have 100% (or very close) of all Chorizos in the country and reill down by estate, Municipio, circunscricion electoral, centro de votacion. meata de votacion / candidato and have a match.

        Serious auditing is never done after a long night and the risks of blood in the street. Alas, for many electoral envets in the last 15 yrears, results are still incomplete in the public record, results from votes abroad never tallied, etc.

        Miguel’s comment was spot on. Take Ledezma and Leopolod out of commision and DF and Miranda and other key voting states loose key leadership to complie and audit election results…

        Besides, Why do we keep splitting angel hairs.
        These is a criminal regime, and is not going to transition out of power without a stronger force to beat it.
        La fuerza no esta en los votos, si no en la defensa de los mismos.

        • Of course. But there is a Huge difference between the potential size of a Massive Electronic Fraud, compared to small frauds that can be perpetrated with Manual, Paper/Box systems, as the ones most Civilized countries, like we just saw in the UK.

          With Witnesses everywhere, Manual Voting works best. With or without witnesses, electronic Fraud can be Massive and unstoppable. And they even have visibility to determine just how much fraud is needed in the end, 2 hour extension, as we just recently saw in Brazil too.

          El Chorizo de Smartmatic, is what I call it, per the above links.

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