Ironic: U.S. calls for increased election integrity … in Venezuela

The U.S. called for a recount of the Venezuelan election: <read>

The United States is hesitating to recognise Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela and has called for a recount of the vote from Sunday’s closely fought election. The procrastination is likely to embolden Venezuela’s opposition and enrage many on the left in Latin America, who have long accused the US of interfering in the region’s politics. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said he had yet to evaluate whether the disputed result was legitimate when asked about the matter by members of the House of Representatives. “We think there ought to be a recount,”

This  is about as ironic as it gets. First the United States has no mechanism for a full recount or audit of its national elections. Only about half the states have recount laws for close votes Even those are in question since the Supreme Court ruling in Gore v. Bush that just in the one state of Florida recounts could not be completed because of time and inadequate consistency. Second, the call officially comes from John Kerry who overruled his friends, advisers, and supporters to throw in the towel early on the day after the Nov 2004 election, in spite of massive charges of fraud in Ohio – allegations, since largely justified.

We remember not so long ago another President saying “We need to fix” our election system. We recall letters from scientists, officials, and advocates calling for better audit and recounts, along with paper ballots for the country. We note the President ignored those calls from his own country for such reforms. Instead that President called only for needed, yet superficial, reforms to shorten lines on election day.

How good is Venezuela’s election system? At least one former President who should know, Jimmy Carter, calls it the best in the world! <read>

The Carter Center, founded by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in 1982, is a non-profit human rights organization with a self-described emphasis on â??seeking to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health around the world. Founder and former President Jimmy Carter recently stated “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world” Hector Vanolli, director of the Carter Center in Venezuela, says that the automization (is this a word?) of every step of the process, from pre-election voter registration, to election day voting, to post ballot tallying, along with its auditability, is what sets the Venezuelan electoral system apart from other countries.

Yet not to let a question go unanswered, Venezeula announced last night that it will audit 46% of its elections. Why 46%? Because the automatically audited 54%, way beyond what any state in the U.S. audits. <read>


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.