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Venezuela: A summary of the Alvarez report on fraud

By Miguel Octavio

18.10.04 - Tulio Alvarez wrote the report on fraud based on dozens of individual reports on each topic. Here I do a summary of the findings, each one backed by facts, data and evidence:

I. - Abuse of power and the partiality of the Electoral Board

--Voting Machines and fingerprint machines were purchased directly, sidestepping the law.

--The Electoral Board abused its power, allowing the use of private data for political extortion, without any public power defending the rights of the citizens.

--The Electoral board has sidestepped the laws and been partial to the Government’s position. --Not once was the vote three to two for a proposal made by the opposition.

II. - The Armed forces

--High ranking military officers publicly opposed even the petition for a recall referendum against the mandate of Hugo Chávez Frías.

--The Armed Forces were used as an arm of political activism.

--The Defense Ministry provided support to the interference and fraud activities on August 15th. The Committee has names and rank of military personnel that participated in them.

--Military equipment was used in the covert data communications room used to interfere with the recall vote. There is video evidence, including brand and serial number of the equipment used.

--Reserve forces who are supposed to only protect electoral activities were ordered to actively participate and intervene in the voting activities.

III. - Fraud in the Electoral registry

--National ID cards were issued to two million people without fulfilling the technical requirements or security procedures required.

--The database of dead citizens was manipulated and thousands of living Venezuelans who signed the petition for the recall were excluded from the Electoral rolls.

--Thousands were migrated without them requesting it.

--Thousands of government supporters were migrated to small and rural centers in order to justify the final result of the automated election. As many as 29 parishes now have more voters than inhabitants, which has been recognized by a CNE Director.

IV. - The Failure of the Audits

--The CNE never presented the audit of the hardware and software its consultants supposedly were going to carry out.

--The only presentation on certification of the software showed that there were certification faults with the software

--Complaints about the lack of ability of doing any pre-audit were always answered by saying the ‘hot-audit’ on the day of the vote made it unnecessary.

--The CNE unilaterally restricted the possible locations of the ‘hot-audit’ on the afternoon of the vote, restricting it to twenty municipalities in fourteen states.

--Credentials for opposition members to participate in the “hot-audit” were handed out at a meeting at 3 PM on the day of the vote.

--Most observers for the opposition were not allowed into the voting centers. In fact, they were able to go in only 27 seven of the 78 centers audited. A total of 199 were slated to be audited. 76 audits were successfully completed and in those the Si option won in these 27 centers by a 62% to 38% margin, exactly the reverse of the official results.

--The program to randomly select audit centers provided by the Carter Center was not used for “technical reasons”, instead a program provided by the electoral Board and run on its won PC was used.

--Ballot Boxes were under the supervision of the military for 72 hours despite Carter Center claims that they never left the side of the ballot boxes.

--19% of the randomly selected ballot boxes could not be found or had been tampered with.

V. - The Smartmatic Machines

--They were not stand alone machines, but gaming machines made by Olivetti which by nature are part of a network.

--Its dimensions are inadequate for a multiple election.

--Despite claims to the contrary the machines are bi-directional capable of receiving more than just handshakes.

--Each machine had its own IP number and was connected to the network.

--The machines sent and received messages from as many as five data centers, the two official ones at the CNE and the back up one, and three covert centers, one at the national library, one at the Bolivarian University and one at the ministry of Science and Technology.

--A complete video exists of one of these centers including all of the data and communications equipment, with brand names and serial numbers. The Committee also obtained the identifications of three Mexican citizens, one Chilean citizen and all of the members of the military that operated that center.

--All of the data transmitted left its traces in the farm servers of CANTV allowing for the reconstruction in detail of all of the data transmitted.

--The Smartmatic machines had a Smartcard. Where are they?

--The Smartmatic machines had a back door without authorization privileges.

--The Smartmatic machines could run external modules independent of the executable use for the election.

--The machine transmitted the totals before printing the results in violation of the law.

--The fingerprint machines were being monitored from the covert data centers, where the flow of voters could be controlled.

VI. - The Political map of the Fraud

--Statistical studies revealed that 48% of the voting centers were irregular.

--Scientific studies established those centers which had numerical anomalies

--Telecommunications studies revealed that some centers which received high or excessive amounts of data from the CNE servers.

--The overlap of the three cases above determined the centers tampered with in the automated vote which combined with the results of the manual centers yielded that the Si option, in favor of recalling the mandate of Hugo Chavez Frías won by a margin of 54.8% for the Si and 45.2% for the NO.

VII.-Scientific Studies

--The results for the NO option were found to strongly violate Benford’s Law.

--Benford’s law studies coincide in that part of the Si vote was shifted over to the no option.

--Simulations of numerical coincidences indicate that those observed in centers with four and six machines are essentially impossible.

--The statistical similarity between the 2000 Presidential election and the 2004 recall vote is excessive, more so given that the recall had only two options but the 2000 election had two additional candidates even if marginal.

--The sample made in the “cold audit" on August 18th. was determined not to be representative of the nationwide machines, including their social strata, the correlation with the petition and Benford’s law.

VIII. - Telecommunications

--The type of communications sessions established showed that there was both incoming and outgoing information flow; despite the claims to the contrary the machines were bidirectional beyond simple communication protocols.

--There were three types of termination of sessions, those ended by the server, those ended by the machine and those ended by loss of carrier.

--There were transmissions all day despite the fact that this is prohibited by law.

--There were three types of traffic between machines and servers. Low, high and excessive, with over 51% in the last two categories.

--Two different patterns of behavior were observed in the number of packets. Some machines had a low ratio of incoming to outgoing packets and others had a ratio of one.

--Those machines that had anomalous communications patterns were also found to be irregular statistically when one looked at each parish and when one looked at the statistical properties of machines as a function of the number of voters.

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