Venezuelan Elections Continent: America Project: Elections 2004 – 2010 (9 national Capital: Caracas electoral processes) Estimated population: 27,000,000 Votes counted: Over 350 Million Type of government: Federal Republic Population Served: 18.9 Million Voters Administrative division: 23 states, 1 Observers: OAS, EU, IFES, Carter Center Capital District and 1 Federal Dependency and more than 500 independent observers.Venezuela is the country where the largest automated elections in Latin America havetaken place, using latest generation voting machines with the ability of printing votingreceipts.Smartmatic was the main technology supplier for these Venezuelan elections: 2004Presidential Recall Referendum, 2004 Regional Elections, 2005 Municipal and ParishElections, 2005 Parliamentary Elections, 2006 Presidential Elections, 2007Constitutional Referendum, 2008 Regional Elections, 2009 Constitutional AmendmentReferendum and 2010 Parliamentary Elections.
ScopeSome interesting numbers about the Venezuelan Elections since 2004 (with SmartmaticElectoral Platform) include: Over 350 million votes registered in total. Smartmatic has supplied technology and integral logistics and support services for all elections held in Venezuela since 2004. Since August 2004, and throughout 9 national elections, over 25 audits of the Smartmatic solution have been performed. According to Datanálisis, a renowned Venezuelan pollster, over 70% of Venezuelans consider that the voting technology used in the country is one of the most advanced in the world, and over 90% consider that voting with electronic machines (provided by Smartmatic) is easy/very easy. Election results have been accepted and validated by all the political factors involved, and national and international observers. Quick, fluent and trouble-free processes, in spite of the complexities of some elections having large numbers of candidates and offices to be elected. International observation missions have validated the results and verified the swift, reliable and auditable performance of Smartmatic’s voting system, backed by extensive audit processes before, during and after each election. During these events, Smartmatic has deployed its 100%-auditable technology embodied in its voting machines (SAES-3000, SAES-3300, SAES-4000 and SAES-4200). In 2009, total automation of the more than 30 thousand polling stations in the country was achieved. More than 40,000 voting machines have been deployed and over 45,000 people have been trained and contracted for each event. Smartmatic also performs other tasks beyond the scope of technology, such as being in charge of the operation and logistics of the Regional Attention Centers and of the National Support Center, the installation and withdrawal of equipment in the voting centers; and the preparation, installation and operation of contingency machines for the Contingency Transmission Centers. This way, Smartmatic’s services, which include hardware and software development, logistics, planning, operations, distribution, training, technical support, tallying, transmission and adjudication of results, have completely fulfilled the objectives for each election, guaranteeing secure and reliable voting processes for the electorate.
Some success references about the Venezuelan Electoral Technology Platform: "I congratulate the government and the Venezuelan people today for the correctness, tranquility and transparency of their parliamentary elections…”| José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the OAS, September, 2010 "The Venezuelan electronic voting system has proven to efficiently work and what you select there is what gets recorded” |Politician and Editor of Tal Cual Newspaper, Teodoro Petkoff , August, 2010. "[Smartmatic] has developed one of the most advanced electoral systems in the region, if not the world" | US National Lawyers Guild, 2007. “The audits (of the automated voting system) were excellent because they were discussed in advance with the political organizations, and they participated actively in the analysis” | Tibisay Lucena, Venezuelan National Electoral Council, 2006 “We would recommend to those southern countries the full implementation of the automated voting system, because the technical gizmos are absolutely reliable” | Carlos Alvarez, MERCOSUR, 2006.
“The electronic voting system established in Venezuela is efficient, secure andauditable, and the competence of the technical experts is in line with its advancedtechnological level” | EU Mission Final Report, 2006.“This system *from Smartmatic+ is probably the most advanced system in the world todate” | EU Mission Final Report. March, 2005.“We have no motives for doubt over the integrity of the electoral process or theaccuracy of the Referendum results”| Jimmy Carter, The Carter Center President,August, 2004.“This voting system is designed in such a way that it is not possible to manipulate finalresults” | Cesar Gaviria, OAS Secretary General, 2004.“Venezuelans may have confidence in their election system, and they can be assuredthat the voting machines really reflect the voter’s intention” | Jennifer McCoy, TheCarter Center, August, 2004
Newspaper articlesElNacional.comSeptember 26th 2010Electoral observers highlight huge voter participation in VenezuelaNational and foreign invitees to observe the parliamentary elections agreed this Sunday with highlightingthe huge participation and enthusiasm of voters in the electoral centers of the country. The deputy of theSpanish Partido Popular (PP) Gustavo de Arístegui indicated that in his journey throughout electoral centershe noticed that voters “are enthusiastic, patient, joyful, and have illusions” to participate in the legislativeprocess. CNE invited 150 international companions to witness the electoral process and authorized thepolitical parties to bring other 60 international observers. Authorities of the Electoral Council alsohighlighted the high level of participation of 17,5 millions of voters called upon to the ballot boxes to electthe 165 positions of the unicameral National Assembly (AN).http://www.el-nacional.com/www/site/p_contenido.php?q=nodo/157164/Sufragio%202010/Observadores-electorales-resaltan-alta-afluencia-de-votantes-en-VenezuelaEl Universal.comSeptember 26th 2010Attorney General highlights normal electionAttorney General Luisa Ortega Día said on Sunday that the election was totally normal and was remarkablyamong the most successful ones in the Venezuelan history. She said that the Election Day is noticeablecompared with that of 2008, where at 11:00 a.m. a total of 36 cases had been recorded.http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/09/26/en_pol_esp_attorney-general-hig_26A4522255.shtmlEuronewsSeptember 26th 2010Opposition excelled “calm” in the elections and calls to vote “with no fear”Today Venezuelan opposition and Church leaders excelled the “calm” and “high motivation” characterizingthe Election Day, and they reconfirmed their call to people to vote “with no fear” and “awareness”.Opposition candidates urged all national sectors to respect the elections results to elect the 165 positions inthe National Assembly (AN), which will be proclaimed by the National Electoral Council (CNE) maybe tonight.Richard Blanco, opposition deputy candidate for Caracas jurisdiction, highlighted the high level ofparticipation in the elections, which he defined as a great opportunity to favor the “reunion” of Venezuelanpeople.http://es.euronews.net/teletipos/497273-la-oposicion-destaca-normalidad-en-los-comicios-y-llama-a-votar-sin-miedo/El Universal.comSeptember 26th 2010Electoral observers highlight huge voter participation in VenezuelaNational and foreign invitees to observe the parliamentary elections agreed this Sunday with highlightingthe huge participation and enthusiasm of voters in the electoral centers of the country. The deputy of theSpanish Partido Popular (PP) Gustavo de Arístegui indicated that in his journey throughout electoral centers
he noticed that voters “are enthusiastic, patient, joyful, and have illusions” to participate in the legislativeprocess. CNE invited 150 international companions to witness the electoral process and authorized thepolitical parties to bring other 60 international observers. Authorities of the Electoral Council alsohighlighted the high level of participation of 17,5 millions of voters called upon to the ballot boxes to electthe 165 positions of the unicameral National Assembly (AN). "What we have seen on the streets is the proof(…), it will be a huge participation” to be registered on this day”, stated Humberto Castillo, member of theNational Electoral Committee of the CNE.http://www.el-nacional.com/www/site/p_contenido.php?q=nodo/157164/Sufragio%202010/Observadores-electorales-resaltan-alta-afluencia-de-votantes-en-Venezuelaswissinfo.chSeptember 27th 2010In Venezuela, victory for democracyThe party of President Hugo Chávez got the simple majority in the National Assembly in electionscharacterized by a huge participation and where the real victory was for democracy with opposition comingback in. Swiss citizens, who participated in the process as observers, agreed with defining this process as“peaceful, reliable and transparent”. “Venezuela went back to calm”, applauded Walter Suter, as regards theparticipation of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) that got 63 seats in the Parliament, against 95 ofthe Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV). “Opposition got back 40% of votes they had before 2005”,added the International Section agent for the Swiss Socialist Party.http://www.swissinfo.ch/spa/noticias/politica_suiza/En_Venezuela,_triunfo_de_la_democracia.html?cid=28415622Milwaukee Jsonline.comDecember 11th 2006U.S. could learn from Venezuelan votingI observed no evidence of fraud or any illegality with the Dec. 3 election. The express will of the Venezuelanvoters was realized. Venezuelas anti-voter fraud system, including paper and electronic trails, is a modelthat voting rights advocates in the U.S. would envy. That is not to say there were not some glitches, such aslong lines, but nothing that would cause a reasonable person to conclude the results were not legitimate orequal access to the polls was not afforded everyonehttp://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/29197884.htmlEl Universal.comNovember 30th 2006CNE provides further assurancesDespite many troubles, three independent universities -Andrés Bello Catholic University, Central Universityof Venezuela and Simón Bolívar University- audited digitally the register of voters. Any findings? Themistakes found cannot change the results of the election for president. With regard to the two-wayexchange of information, CNE represents and warrants -and the technicians of the campaign team of singleopposition candidate Manuel Rosales and CNE director Vicente Díaz endorse it- that the 33,002 votingmachines will be unplugged until polling stations close and should release the results. And this will nothappen before printing out the count records in order to match the machine results with the resultstabulated in CNE servers. Further, on next Sunday, December 3rd, witnesses of the three most votedcandidates have been assured of counting with a copy of the count record.http://www.eluniversal.com/2006/11/30/imp_en_pol_art_30A809835.shtml
El Universal.comNovember 20th 2006Deployment of foreign observers on the eve of the Election DayAbout 80 short-term observers, as well as a delegation of members of the European Parliament anddiplomats accredited to the European Union (EU) embassies in Caracas will be deployed across the countryjust the day before the election for president to overview voting, count and tabulation of the results. A totalof 126 observers will start operations as from Monday under the coordination of the Electoral ObservationMission (EOM) as from Monday, stated a press release from the organization. EOM is headed by MónicaFrassoni, a member of the European Parliament.http://www.eluniversal.com/2006/11/20/imp_en_pol_art_20A805691.shtmlEl-Nacional.comAugust 3rd 2005Venezuela has worlds "most secure voting system"Text of interview with National Electoral Council President Jorge Rodriguez by Javier Pereira, published byVenezuelan newspaper El Nacional web site on 31 July; subheadings as published.Upon entering, one notices the lack of a pre-electoral atmosphere in Jorge Rodriguezs office. Opposite towhat occurred last year, in the days prior to the upcoming elections for councilmen and parish boardseverything appears calm. The desk of the CNE [National Electoral Council] President is neat and tidy, withoutany sign of the chaos that usually accompanies a process as complex as next weeks, in which 38,757candidates will be competing for 5,599 posts. A smiling, informal Rodriguez greets us. He looks like a manwithout a care in the world, and apparently has reasons to be in that frame of mind.http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-134822182/venezuela-has-world-most.htmlEl Universal.comAugust 23rd 2004Jimmy Carter / Election Monitors Work to Build Nations TrustAn electronic voting and tabulation system was developed by a Venezuelan-American consortium led bySmartmatic that permitted touch-screen voting, with each choice backed up by a paper ballot that wasexamined by the voter and then placed in a sealed box. We international monitors assured that themachines were tested in advance, and we observed the voting throughout the nation. At the end of thevoting day, results from each of the 20,000 machines were certified by poll workers and party observers andtransmitted on telephone lines (CANTV, Verizon and others) to election headquarters in Caracas.http://www.eluniversal.com/2004/08/23/en_revo_art_23A486203.shtmlTelam news agencyAugust 17th 2004Argentine observers stress transparency of Venezuelan referendum resultsA number of the Argentine political leaders who went to Venezuela to act as international monitors for thereferendum have highlighted the size of the voter turnout and the transparency of the final results, whichhave confirmed [President] Hugo Chavez in office. "There were 300 international observers, academics andwell known figures from all over the world. They witnessed an exemplary process, a process which wastransparent”.http://english.telam.com.ar/