Monday, October 1, 2012

7 facts about the Venezuelan Presidential election

Photo: Birmingham Respect blog
1) On October 7, 2012, Venezuela will elect a President for the 2013-2019 term. Hugo Chávez Frias, Henrique Capriles Radonski, Reina Sequera, Luis Reyes, María Bolívar, and Orlando Chirino, are the six candidates that 18.903.143 Venezuelans registered to vote will choose from.  

2) In total, the Venezuelan Electoral Council (CNE) has made available voting stations for 13,810 polling centers which will serve 39,322 precincts. Of these voting stations, 304 are located in the 126 diplomatic offices Venezuela has around the world. All 100,495 Venezuelans registered to vote abroad, will vote manually. 

3) To accurately capture the preferences of voters, Venezuela’s electoral authority, in partnership with multinational Smartmatic, will set up and deploy 39,018 touch-screen voting machines. Each machine will be connected to a touch sensitive electronic ballot and a biometric fingerprint device. 

4) This will be the first national election in the world with biometric activation of the voting session. Using a biometric fingerprint reader, the system will automatically authenticate the identity of the voter and activate the voting session.

5) Previous to the election, the voting machine, its electronic components and the voting, summing, tabulating and adjudication software will have been subjected to the most demanding security tests and controls, totaling more than 17 audits and 2 simulation processes. The installed software is to be jointly certified by the electoral authority and the political parties. 

6) After the polls close, the CNE, the various political parties, international companions and national observers as well as representatives from the civil society are due to perform a closing random audit comprising 54% of the voting machines (matching each machine’s Precinct Count Report vs. the manual count of all paper ballots deposited into the respective ballot boxes).

7) After the CNE publishes a first bulletin with official results, all the data is broadcast over the Internet.