“I’m 53, and this was my second time voting” says Rosa, aware that the PSUV has some access to the election data. “The first time was for the Constituent (Assembly). The consejo comunal around here said that if you didn’t vote, you wouldn’t get your CLAP bag.”

“It’s better to be safe,” she sighs.

The PSUV ran for the 2017’s regional elections as an apparent sitting duck, but keeping the cards close to its chest, it awaited with hands deep inside people’s fears and stomachs.

The puntos rojos was its first tool. Located close to voting centers, they were quite effective for the red machinery, giving a way to keep track of how many people voted through the day.

“I stayed home and around four I got a text asking me to go vote,” Rosa’s son (he refused to give his name for this piece) tells me. “I didn’t. I’m not supporting those thieves.”

In the middle-class zones of Miranda, though, there were no puntos rojos. For Eugenio Martínez, expert in Venezuela’s electoral system, the puntos rojos are an effective method to keep an eye on everyone who receives “help” from the government. If the consejo comunal finds out you didn’t vote, the threat is to take your CLAP away not an irrelevant or small thing for people with no other way to have access to those products.

The opposition says it’s secret, but chavistas suggest they know. It’s a risk; I work in the public sector and there’s no way I’ll put my work at risk right now.

For Carlos, a 37 year old resident of Miranda state, there’s serious doubt on the secrecy of the vote. “The opposition says it’s secret, but chavistas suggest they know. It’s a risk; I work in the public sector and there’s no way I’ll put my work at risk right now. If it’s hard to live with my salary, imagine without it. I rather abstain.”

And just consider the strategic location of voting centers. If there’s a single opposition vote in a center close to a Misión Vivienda complex, there might be a “traitor” in the neighborhood. It puts the entire community at “risk” and if we can think about it, you bet the reds can too.

But fear in a questionable system isn’t the only thing chavismo exploits: with the “assisted vote,” a PSUV member will “help you out,” making sure your option is their candidate.  According to Red de Observación Electoral, there were violations in the assisted vote process for 16% of all voting centers.

These irregularities are hard to prove, which seems to have been the plan all along; coupled with the opposition abstention and the faults in its strategy, the road is rockier than ever for the MUD to succeed in its alleged goal, months away from electing mayors and even the president.

9 COMMENTS

  1. “These irregularities are hard to prove, which seems to have been the plan all along”

    The fraud is almost impossible to prove because the whole system is inauditable.

    • It is, because FT’s sacred Actas, those really not destroyed, and less than 50% witnessed by Oppo witnesses, meaning completely unreliable, are in the hands of FANB military when they leave the polling stations, under guard ever since, and will not be released except under Govt./CNE orders–not likely.

  2. And there you have it. We’re now talking about MUD’s efforts to “succeed” in mayoral and presidential elections. Quico, why do you allow such nonsense to be attributed to this site?

    How many times do you do the same thing each time expecting different results before you recognize the madness? This country, Venezuelans, are you stark raving mad?

    If Venezuelan democracy were an animal it would be time to put a bullet in its head to end its misery.

  3. Another CC article missing the point and legitimizing the 6M votes (no voters) psuv got.

    Again, all those tricks (puntos rojos, misiones, centros en misión vivienda) are not enough to lift psuv (with 75% of people wanting them to leave power in all polls, es la economía estúpido!) to 6M voters (voters is not equal to a vote, ask Tibisay when she announced 8M votes for the constituyente)

    Remember that Libertador (Caracas pues) no votó, had CCS voted the votes for psuv would’ve been 7M.

    If those tricks where enough to win an election, why they lost in 2015 and didn’t get 6M even adding their votes in CCS and when the economy was less worse and there were more voters considering the exodus in the last two years? Why they lost the last diputado (el 112 que le entregaba la supermayoría a la oposición por sólo 85 votos y el centro lo cerraron a la medianoche? No consiguieron ni obligaron a 86 personas a votar desde las 6 pm hasta la medianoche?

    Mathematically speaking, how do you reach to 6M? again all those tricks mentioned before were used in every elections at least after 2010.

    The problem for CC writers is that for them the CNE-PSUV-FANB “magically” became ethical the day of the election.

    Let me be clear again about the ACTAS: I agree that they reflect the number of votes. However, CC keeps MISSING the point because the FRAUD was in the VOTOS and NOT in the ACTAS!!!

    Psuv-cne-fanb managed to stuff the ballots systematically (in selected centros, principalmente pequeños y en slums), reducing the projected abstention from 50% to 39% (11% is equal to 2M votes)

    Now, the number that all polls projected as the intention to vote needs to be analyzed further:

    Polls are done inside the country (but how many people are registered and left the country or passed away?)

    As such, registered voters are way over population “apta para votar” (posibles votantes)

    Add the “reubicaciones” that affected 1M people (all tendencies), machines that open hours later, no power in some poll stations and other operación morrocoy, then the participation should be way lower than the intention to vote showed in all the polls.

    The number of people who voted must be between 40-50% which means that the ballot stuffing was between 11-21%, or 2M to 3.5M votes.

    And that’s how they “magically” reached to 6M VOTES!!!

  4. in reference to “CLAP” Bag comment. I understand that there is a lack of medicine in the country, So, can you get penicillin added to your the “CLAP” bag (by special request). Or do have you to “vote” to get it. Just wondering. Syphilis is easy to treat, as long you Identity it early, afterwards, it leads dementia (Maybe, that is what’s wrong with Mad Ernie)).

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