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Venezuela's regional elections: another fraud in the making

By Veneconomy

For the regional elections, the National Electoral Council (CNE) is considering the possibility of Smartmatic’s voting machines transmitting the results immediately after the automated vote count and printing out the verification document after the exchange of data has been completed with the CNE’s servers. This modus operandi is precisely the one that raised doubts as to the possibility of altered results being sent to certain polling stations, either from the CNE or from any other center, so that they appear on the official printout of the results later.

A report issued by the CANTV shortly after the recall referendum confirmed that two-way transmission had been allowed between the voting machines and the CNE’s servers. On that occasion, the CNE gave instructions to the polling centers to send the information of their totals before printing out the official documents with the totals for each polling station.

In an interview for El Universal last Sunday, the academic and MIT professor Roberto Rigobón warned that, if the same technical procedure used on August 15 is repeated, “with a stroke of a key and in 20 seconds it will be possible to alter the results of the elections.”

It is very easy to forecast approximate voting percentages in some places based on the results of the referendum (only on the hands of the CNE), the Reafirmazo, the signature ratification process, and the opinion polls.

By taking this information, anyone can manufacture some almost credible results for any given polling station and send the order “you have to reduce the numbers by more or less 10%” to the computers in question from the central computer, adding an element of randomness so that it doesn’t look too obvious.” Then, when it comes to the audit, the CNE can choose polling stations where the data was not touched, so that the fraud is not detected.

This decision, added to the creation of new polling stations with the attendant migration of voters, will result in a repetition of the deplorable experience of August 15.

The only alternative left to the opposition, then, is a manual count of the ballots so that the results thus obtained can be compared against the official printouts, as required by the Suffrage Law.

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