2012 Venezuelan Elections
Table of ContentsVenezuelan 2012 Presidential Election                            2    Project Scope and Figures          ...
Venezuelan 2012 Presidential ElectionOn October 7th 2012, Venezuela faced one of the most transcendental electoralprocesse...
Project scope and figuresOn October 7th, the people of Venezuela chose their president for the 2013-2019term. The National...
Scope of the 2012 Presidential Election  CATEGORY                                                            NUMBER Pollin...
II. Integrated Authentication System (SAI):Each voting machine has a biometric authentication device used to activate sess...
Technical audits (Venezuela 2012) In Venezuela, the voting system is audited before, during and after each election. For t...
Audit of the voting infrastructure (September 17): This audit checks the technologicalplatform of the voting machines and ...
How do Venezuelans vote?The voting process in its entirety comprises activities of the highest automation level,including ...
What are people saying about the Venezuelan voting system?Citizen perceptionA survey by pollster Datanálisis (2010 and 201...
“What has also become clear is that irregularities in voting have to do more with therepresentation of certain factions in...
“Venezuela’s automated system has made strides in the struggle against electoralfraud and guarantees the voters’ rights. W...
Noteworthy stories in the Venezuelan mediaObservers remark reliability of the voting systemMembers of the observation miss...
and automated system to check the voter’s identity through their fingerprints. “Thesoftware in the voting machines guarant...
El NacionalVoting without myths and without fears by Mario Torre | 09.30.2012The voucher always shows the candidate that w...
El NacionalÁlvarez:Venezuela´s voting system is one of the most advanced in America | 09.16.2012“Venezuela has today one o...
Últimas NoticiasUNT: Voting is secret, quick and secure | 09.03.2012Vicente Bello, delegate for electoral matters of the p...
Noti ZuliaSix advantages of the Venezuelan automated voting system| 08.18.2012Samira Saba, Communications Director at Smar...
The new identification system, which is used to check the voter’s ID, is presented as asafe authentication mechanism which...
Últimas NoticiasCNE voting system cannot be tampered with | 07.18.2012This was stated by the Rector of the National Electo...
Panorama"Votes are randomly stored"| 06.26.2012The Integrated Automated System (SAI) includes the biometric identification...
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2012 Venezuela Presidential Election Dossier

  1. 1. 2012 Venezuelan Elections
  2. 2. Table of ContentsVenezuelan 2012 Presidential Election 2 Project Scope and Figures 3 Technology in the Venezuelan Elections 4 Technical Audits (Venezuela 2012) 6 How do Venezuelans vote in their Presidential Election? 8 What are people saying about the Venezuelan voting system? 9 Noteworthy stories in the Venezuelan media 12 01
  3. 3. Venezuelan 2012 Presidential ElectionOn October 7th 2012, Venezuela faced one of the most transcendental electoralprocesses in its political history. President Hugo Chávez Frías won the reelection afterfacing Miranda State ex Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski, representative of thecoalition of opossition parties, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD).For this event which attracted the attention of Venezuelans and foreigners around theworld, Smartmatic deployed its voting technology solution for the tenth time in thecountry; including services and equipment for a 100% automated national election. Thisevent was also remarkable in the technology area: it was the first election in the worldto employ national biometric activation of voters.Country: Bolivarian Republic of VenezuelaCapital: CaracasEstimated population: 28.800.000Territorial division: 23 States, 1 Capital District and Federal Dependencies.Type of State: Decentralized federal stateProject: 2012 Presidential Election (for the 2013-2019 period).Voter registry: 18.903.143Polling stations: 13.810Electoral authority: Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) 02
  4. 4. Project scope and figuresOn October 7th, the people of Venezuela chose their president for the 2013-2019term. The National Electoral Council (CNE), the highest electoral authority in Venezuela,announced an historic 80,85% of voter turnout.The main elements involved in the Presidential Election Project were the following: Automation of 100% of the polling stations Deployment of 4 voting machine models: SAES 3300, 4000, 4200 and 4300 Use of the new VP-1500 e-ballot Use of the Integrated Authentication System (SAI), a biometric device that authen- ticates the voter and activates the voting session Configuration and deployment of 59,700 voting machines Execution of the following processes: engineering test, End-to-End test, voting drill, and the final voting event.Smartmatic was in charge of a series of tasks related to the election, some of whichwent beyond its technological aspects: 1. Voting automation, tallying, transmission, collection and totaling of votes for the Presidential 2012 Election 2. Selection, hiring and training of the field staff (Voting Machine Operators, Support Technicians, Information Station Operators, Contingency Transmission Center Operators, Totalization Technicians, Inventory Operators, Special Operators and National Support Center Operators), staff for the National Support Center (CNS), of the Regional Coordinators and staff for the Pre- and Post-Event Audits 3. Operation of the National Support Center 4. Furnishing and renovations of the Fast Response Centers 5. Operation of the Fast Response Centers 6. Software setup & priming of the voting machines and diagnostics run thereof 7. Supply of materials for the setup & priming of voting machines and of other required materials/equipment 8. Supply and distribution of batteries as backup power sources 9. Installation of Contingency Transmission Centers 10. Printing of manuals and protocols for field personnel 11. Project management services and application of Smartmatic’s exclusive Project Methodology 12. Control and follow-up of performance indicators 13. Priming and distribution of over 59,700 voting machines for each of these events: operator training, voting information sessions, engineering test, voting drill, and the Presidential Election proper 14. Execution of the engineering test, end-to-end test, voting drill, and the Presi- dential Election 03
  5. 5. Scope of the 2012 Presidential Election CATEGORY NUMBER Polling Centers 13.810 Regional Electoral Assemblies 24 Hard-to-reach Polling Centers 366 Voting Machines 39.018 CTC Machines 882 Reference Computers 732Technology in Venezuelan electionsVenezuela is setting the trend in e-voting by becoming the first country in the world tofully automate a national election. Several tools are being used to this end, includingsoftware for monitoring, the generation of voting instruments and the publication ofresults; and hardware such as biometric identification devices for voters, data entryelectronic ballots, and voting machines.I. Voting machines (SAES-4000 series):Latest-generation voting machines with a touch screen, extensions for e-ballots andcompatible with the SAI. 100% auditable. The vote is registered several times, redundant storage. Votes are encrypted with 256-bit symmetrical algorithms Integrated printer for vote vouchers, precinct counts, and voting logs “Unblock” button to activate the voting session Secure unidirectional data transmission through networks (LAN, phone lines, CDMA and satellite) Accesibility module for visually impaired voters External power backup system, functional for up to 8 hours. Portable protecting case, made from ultra resistant materials. 04
  6. 6. II. Integrated Authentication System (SAI):Each voting machine has a biometric authentication device used to activate sessions.Every voter must be authenticated through his/her fingerprint in order to unlock thevoting machine. This biometric authentication device has been developed by Smartmatic. Color screen to display instructions and voter information, including the voters photograph Integrated fingerprint reader to capture the voter´s biometric information Support area to place the voter´s ID document Keypad with touch and auditory sensitivity LED lights to indicate the status of processes Buzzer to indicate the start and end of processesIII. E-ballot VP-1500: Bigger ballot size and bigger internal membranes The voter can press upon the party’s logo, the candidate´s name or picture: whole areas, not small ovals. LED indicators for a visual confirmation of the voter´s choice(s) 05
  7. 7. Technical audits (Venezuela 2012) In Venezuela, the voting system is audited before, during and after each election. For the 2012 Presidential Election, the electoral authorities organized several evaluations of the software and hardware of the voting machines, as well as of the transmission and totalization of results. All these audits included the technical representatives of all political parties. This year 17 audits were in force: four new ones, one that was reformulated and 12 audits similar to those carried out at previous elections. First Technical Drill (April 28): This first internal test allowed to measure in real time two proposed voting scenarios in order to evaluate the engineering of the polling stations using the Integrated Authentication System (SAI), with the aim to define, and later approve, the procedure to follow, in order to allow a secure and swift voting experience. Second Technical Drill (July 14): This test measured the time it took voters to go through the physical layout of polling stations using the Integrated Authentication System (SAI), together with the voting machines and the e-ballots. End-to-End test (July 29): Formal test carried out in order to verify that the electoral platform and logistical planning in their entirety are in top shape, ready for the Election. Audit of the voting registries (August 6 to 10): The voting registries for each polling station were checked by all political organizations; this was done to insure that the voter data matched the one provided by the National Electoral Registry. Audit of the Voting Machines Software Certification (August 20 to 24): During this source code audit, it was verified that the software installed in the voting machines is the right one; it was also certified that the software adds, tallies and transmits the results correctly. Audit of the assembly of the voting machines (August 31 to September 30): representatives of all the political parties and CNE technicians’ verified that the voting machines were configured with the software code certified in the previous audit. National voting drill (September 2): During this national technical test, the technological and logistics elements (such as they are on Election Day) are tested. The National Electoral Council deployed 4,832 voting machines with their electronic ballots and SAI devices in 1,553 voting centers across the country, so citizens had a chance to test the electoral platform. Audit to the Tallying Software Certification (September 10 to 14): In this audit, political organizations checked the totalization system, its components, source code and digital signature. Audit to the Biometric System (September 17): During this audit, it was verified that there´s no relation between the fingerprint capture process and the sequence in which votes are registered, enforcing the constitutional mandate for the secrecy of the vote and the “one man, one vote” principle. This audit also included the modules that make up the voting system, and the application’s digital signature was generated. 06
  8. 8. Audit of the voting infrastructure (September 17): This audit checks the technologicalplatform of the voting machines and their structure. To this end, a voting machine isdisassembled in front of representatives of the political parties so its components canbe observed and it can be checked that they’re all indispensable for the voting to takeplace, meaning there are no secondary elements that might perform tasks unrelatedto or not required by the voting process.Pre-dispatch audit (September 30): Completely reformulated, this new pre-dispatchaudit is a replica of the electoral process. This test was conducted a week before theelections with 1,400 voters that used a group of voting machines selected at random.The CNE drove the voters and polling station members to its warehouses in Filas deMariches. Representatives of the political parties had a presence in selected pollingstations as witnesses.Post-voting audit (October 15 and 16): Replay of the closing audit, where the repre-sentatives of the political parties verify the audited ballot boxes, counting once againthe vouchers contained therein. These results are compared to those produced by thetotalization system and are certified by the political parties.Other audits and tests: Audit of the Preeliminary Electoral Registry (July 8) Audit of the production of poll books (July 24 to 28) Audit of the data in voting machines (August 27 and 28) Full Presidential Election Audit, or "Audit for citizen verification" (October 7) 07
  9. 9. How do Venezuelans vote?The voting process in its entirety comprises activities of the highest automation level,including the biometric authentication of the voters, automated voting, tallying, collectionand totalization of results, and the proclamation of the winning candidate. 1. Upon arriving at the 2. Once the voter’s polling center, the voter ID numberis entered must provide his ID card in the SAI, the biographic to a polling station member information of the voter so his personal data is appears on screen, searched in the Integrated including a picture Authentication System identifying him. (SAI) database. 4. Once the voter´s identity is verified, he goes to the 3. The SAI device then reads voting machine. the voter´s fingerprint, The machine operator and it´s checked against presses the activation the system’s database. button and the voting act proper begins. 5. The elector uses the e-ballot. He finds the 6. Once the option has candidate or political been selected, the voter party of his choice on it must verify his choice and press upon on the screen of the the corresponding logo, voting machine. picture or any part of the box. 8. The machine prints 7. The voter must confirm a voting voucher reflecting his option by pressing the voter’s choice. The voter “Vote” on the screen of then inserts this voucher the voting machine, into the ballot box casting his vote. to end the process. 08
  10. 10. What are people saying about the Venezuelan voting system?Citizen perceptionA survey by pollster Datanálisis (2010 and 2012) reveals that: Nine out of ten Venezuelan voters (93%), think that voting with Smartmatic´s voting machines is “easy” or “very easy”. 75% prefers e-voting over manual voting. 71% considers that Venezuela’s voting technology is one of the most advanced worldwide. 68% of citizens consider that electoral results in Venezuela are reliable.Relevant quotes“The Venezuelan voting system is very advanced on account of its automation, whichprovides guarantees to all Venezuelans so they will participate continuously in theirdemocratic processes. The automated process adopted in Venezuela makes a verystrong difference. It’s proving to be highly efficient” | International electoral observer(Peru), Arístides Valer Lopera. 10.07.2012“We’ve been observing this electoral process for three days, and it shows significantadvances when it comes to guarantees in the Venezuelan voting system. We’ve seenin our visits to the voting centers that it’s a perfect system, one of the best in theworld” | Gloria Flores, Member of the Andean Parliament for Colombia 10.07.2012 “The Venezuelan voting system is enviable. Its transparency and clarity cannot bedenied. Little by little the system used in Venezuela will be adopted by other countriesin America” | International electoral observer (Ecuador), María Augusta Calle. 10.07.2012“What we’ve verified is that Venezuela has one of the strongest voting systemstechnologically speaking, one of the most advanced, trustworthy and reliable ones ofLatin America. I believe that electronic voting is much more reliable, swift, user-friendlyand auditable than manual voting” | Carlos Álvarez, Chief of the Unasur ElectoralObservation Mission and former president of Argentina 10.05.2012"There’s a series of procedures taking place in the machines’ software that wouldprevent any Venezuelan from reconstructing a time sequence for voters and votes”| Enrique Márquez, Leader of Un Nuevo Tiempo political party 10.05.2012“Believing in these results is not an act of faith; in Venezuela, guarantees are gainedstep by step after each phase of the process is audited. Voting fraud is impossible inVenezuela. Other countries with manual voting systems make estimates and votes arecounted later. We count vote by vote, millions of them, in a very short time” | TibisayLucena, president of the National Electoral Council 10.04.2012“I’m certain of two things: fraud of any kind is impossible in Venezuela, and second,no one will repudiate the results of the election. Whoever has the votes wins; this isknown by everybody. The voters know that their votes count, the political parties havewitnesses in the tallying centres, and they keep the voting logs” | Vicente Díaz, rector ofthe National Electoral Council 10.05.2012 09
  11. 11. “What has also become clear is that irregularities in voting have to do more with therepresentation of certain factions in the polling stations than with the technology involved.The fact that there’s no difference between the votes cast and the counts performedduring audits is an indicator that the system guarantees the will of each voter” | MarinoGonzález, Coordinator of the Technical Unit of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática 10.02.2012“Venezuela’s voting system is the best in the world. We’re sure that on October 7 theelection results will reflect the will of the people” | Luisa Ortega Díaz, Venezuelan AttorneyGeneral. 10.02.2012“Our vote tallying is really good, since it’s carried out with modern, auditabletechnology. We’ve won elections and it hasn’t been the CNE who has taken victoriesfrom us: for instance, we won in the Governors Election” | Ramón Guillermo Aveledo,Executive Secretary of the MUD. 10.01.2012“My impressions are that the electoral process is very efficient and that the votingmachines are up to date and reliable to carry out a secure process” | Kathleen Johnson,member of the National Lawyers Guild (USA) 09.20.2012“After having monitored 92 elections, I can say that Venezuela has the best votingsystem in the world, since it makes verifying the electoral results easier. It allowselectronic voting and offers a physical, printed backup of the votes”. | Jimmy Carter,former President of the Untied States, leader and founder of the Carter Center. 09.19.2012“The automated voting system have functioned properly in every election, and nodiscrepancies have been found between the voting logs from the polling stations andthe results published by the CNE”. | Vicente Bello, Electoral Technicial of the ComandoVenezuela. 09.06.2012“Our electoral system is one of the best in the world. We’re guaranteeing that onevoter equals one vote, and I’m sure that there’s no way there’s fraud in Venezuela”| Hugo Chávez Frías, President of Venezuela and presidential candidate. 09.02.2012“We have the most reliable, solid, transparent, fully automated, modern system in theworld, with no elements that compromise the secrecy of the voters’ choices” | JorgeRodríguez, Chief of the Carabobo campaign command and Mayor of Caracas. 09.02.2012“The Venezuelan voting system has several control and security mechanisms, but themost important thing is that it can be verified and audited. The CNE works togetherwith the political parties so that they participate in the audits; transparency is whatlends trust to the system. It removes the possibility of errors since everything isautomated” | Jennifer McCoy, Director of the Program for the Americas of the Carter Center08.10.2012 10
  12. 12. “Venezuela’s automated system has made strides in the struggle against electoralfraud and guarantees the voters’ rights. We understand, from all the technicalmeetings we’ve had, that a good e-voting system has been developed, one that’sreliable” | Francisco González Cabaña, deputy of the Spanish Workers Socialist Party (Psoe).08.10.2012 “The Venezuelan people must trust that their decision on October 7 is bullet-proof (…)We have an electoral system that has been perfecting itself. From a technicalstandpoint, it is flawless, and it guarantees transparency and the will of the people”| Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan Chancellor. 08.10.2012“At least in the elections of the past 8 years, and in the upcoming elections, therehasn’t been nor will be any fraud. The vote has always been secret. There is noevidence to the contrary” | Mario Torre, director of the voting system auditing group.07.23.2012“So far, everything that the group of technicians working with us are saying is thatthe automated voting system has been working. We must do a better job informingthe population that using the system is safe” | Teresa Albanés, president of the electoralcommission of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD). 07.23.2012 11
  13. 13. Noteworthy stories in the Venezuelan mediaObservers remark reliability of the voting systemMembers of the observation missions that participated in the October 7 electionremarked that the day went by with no incidents and agreed on the reliability of theelectoral system. The Doctor in Political Sciences and Sociologist from the UniversidadComplutense of Madrid, Ángeles Diez, described the Venezuelan voting process as“extraordinary and unique” and added that it has “a level of rigor, of veracity, of dataverification that grants significant trust to the electorate”.http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/tuvoto/noticiaselectorales/acompanantes-destacan-fiabilidad-de-sistema-electo.aspxEl NacionalObservation missions remarked reliability of the Venezuelan voting system |10.08.2012Spanish lawmaker and expert in international humanitarian law, Enrique Santiago,remarked that the electoral process took place in calm and praised the system, definingit as the most advanced in the world. He remarked that “there’s an acknowledgementthat the Venezuelan voting system is one of the most advanced in the world and isreally impossible to manipulate”.http://www.el-nacional.com/mundo/Misiones-acompanamiento-destacaron-fiabilidad-venezolano_0_59394084.htmlEl Comercio (Ecuador)Venezuelans voted with an automated system| 10.08.2012Technical representatives of the campaign commands for Hugo Chávez and HenriqueCapriles audited the system in 13 key aspects, such as the voting machine’s softwareand the indelible ink in which voters must dip their pinkies after voting, the voterregistry and the fingerprint database. None of them reported significant failures. ThePresident of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, reiterated that the Venezuelan voting system isbullet-proof, since every one of its phases has been tested.http://www.elcomercio.com/mundo/elecciones-Venezuela-elecciones_Venezuela-Hugo_Chavez-Henrique_Capriles_0_787721386.htmlEl UniversalIt’s guaranteed that the vote is secret | 10.06.2012There is no undetectable fraud in Venezuela. The 13 audits performed on the votingsystem that will be used tomorrow guarantee that the candidate with the most voteswill be declared the winner. The audits to the system also reiterated that there are no“ghost” tallying centers, or that the results can be transmitted outside Venezuela inorder to change the will of the people.http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/elecciones-2012/121006/garantizan-que-el-voto-es-secretoMilenium (México)Center rules out a possible electoral fraud in Venezuela | 10.05.2012Experts from the Carter Center in the US, which is monitoring the current Venezuelanelection, ruled out the possibility of fraud and claimed that the fears about the secrecyof voting are unfounded, as per a report of the Center issued today. The Venezuelanpresidential election of next Sunday has as novelty the introduction of a totally electronic 12
  14. 14. and automated system to check the voter’s identity through their fingerprints. “Thesoftware in the voting machines guarantees the secrecy of the vote”, states theexperts’ report.http://www.milenio.com/cdb/doc/noticias2011/cae0c6b458cbc6e856b2279d53e84217Portafolio (Colombia)Unasur: Transparency in Venezuelan elections is guaranteed | 10.05.2012Carlos Álvarez, former president of Argentina and General Secretary of the LatinAmerican Integration Association (Aladi), indicated that both the government and theopposition have placed their trust in the automated voting system, seeing it preservesthe secrecy of the vote, it withholds the identity of voters, the transmission of datafrom the machines works and the public security plan set by the army is appropriate.http://www.portafolio.co/internacional/transparencia-elecciones-venezuela-esta-aseguradaArgonMéxicoE-voting in Venezuela is easy | 10.05.2012A study carried out in September by the Venezuelan pollster Datanálisis about theupcoming elections, reveals that for 9 out of 10 Venezuelans (91.10% of thosesurveyed) voting with Smartmatic’s machines, which count with touch screens andprinted voting vouchers, is “easy” or “very easy”.http://argonmexico.com/politica-al-margen-jaime-arizmendiEntorno InteligenteThe British trust Venezuela’s voting system | 10.04.2012Deputies, union leaders and other British personalities expressed their trust in theVenezuelan voting system. They stated that Venezuela is “a country that has had moreelections that almost any other worldwide, all of them certified by prestigious internationalorganisms”.http://www.entornointeligente.com/articulo/1321161/VENEZUELA-Britanicos-confian-en-nuestro-sistema-electoral-04102012El País (España) “Fraud is impossible” | 10.04.2012The president of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council states that there areguarantees for a fair and clean election. Other countries with manual systems makeapproximations and the votes are counted afterwards. We count vote by vote, millionsof them, in a very short time and we have two conditions to broadcast the first officialbulletin: that there are no more voters in the lines and that the result is irreversible. Q.Do you think someone would call fraud? A. Someone can always do so, but fraud isimpossible.http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2012/10/04/actualidad/1349372461_906600.htmlEl ImpulsoThe vote: a secret only the voter can reveal | 10.02.2012Former rector of the National Electoral Council and president of the Actívate Barquisi-meto Foundation, Sobella Mejías, considers that for the upcoming elections “it’sbeyond proven that the vote is secret and the only way to know someone’s preferenceis if he reveals it”. The former member of the electoral power remarked the effective-ness of the codes safeguarding the data in the voting and fingerprint capture machi-nes, and how all data is randomly stored so no one can reconstruct a time sequenceand associate votes to voters.http://elimpulso.com/articulo/el-voto-secreto-que-solo-el-elector-puede-revelar#.UG8aD1GziSp 13
  15. 15. El NacionalVoting without myths and without fears by Mario Torre | 09.30.2012The voucher always shows the candidate that was selected. Therefore, it’s veryimportant for the voter to verify that the choice displayed on the screen matches hischoice on the ballot, and only then press the “vote” button on the screen. If what isdisplayed on the screen doesn’t match what he selected, he can use the ballot again.http://impresodigital.el-nacional.com/ediciones/guardar/guardar.asp?dia=30&mes=09&anio=2012&archivo=n1_4n2Unión RadioSúmate insists on the secrecy of the vote| 09.27.2012The coordinator of the social auditing department of the ONG Súmate, Dashiell López,reiterated that the vote is secret. “We say this with total confidence and security;advances were made during the technical revisions to the Integrated AuthenticationSystem (SAI), the fingerprint capture machines and the voting machines”, he stated.http://www.unionradio.net/ActualidadUR/Nota/visornota.aspx?id=123357&tpCont=1&idsec=307&idprog=16NotitardeRector Vicente Díaz: "We’ll have flawless elections" | 09.25.2012The main rector of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Vicente Díaz, stated that onOctober 7 “we’ll have flawless elections” and reiterated that the vote is “absolutely secret”.He also added that the delivery of credentials to polling station members and witnes-ses is back to normal.http://www.notitarde.com/Pais/Rector-Vicente-Díaz-Tendremos-unas-elecciones-impecables/2012/09/24/134470El UniversalUnasur: Campaign chiefs accept Venezuelan voting system | 09.23.2012Campaign chiefs for the President and re-election candidate Hugo Chávez and thecandidate of the opposition collective Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) HenriqueCapriles Radonski, are happy with the electoral system set in place for the October 7presidential election. “None of the spokespeople doubted the technological strengthsof the system”, stated the report of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur),the only international organism accredited to witness the election.http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/120923/unasur-jefes-de-campana-aceptan-sistema-electoral-venezolanoNoticias24Jimmy Carter considers that "the Venezuelan voting process is the best in the world”| 09.19.2012According to the former US President Jimmy Carter, Venezuela has “the best votingprocess in the world”. Taking into account “the 92 elections we’ve monitored, I’d saythat the Venezuelan voting process is the best in the world”, he added. Carter praisedthe country for having a voting system that allows for electronic voting and also haspaper ballots, which makes verifying the electoral results easier.http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/126847/jimmy-carter-considera-que-el-proceso-electoral-en-venezuela-es-el-mejor-en-el-mundo/ 14
  16. 16. El NacionalÁlvarez:Venezuela´s voting system is one of the most advanced in America | 09.16.2012“Venezuela has today one of the strognest and most technologically advanced votingsystems in Latin America, which guarantees the transparency, control and surveillanceof the election”, stated the Mission Chief of the observation party for the Venezuelanpresidential election of the South American Community of Nations (Unasur), Carlos“Chacho” Álvarez.http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Alvarez-Sistema-electoral-Venezuela-America_0_46195490.htmlNoticia Al DíaCNE:Tests of the voting platform bring reassurance and security before October 7 |09.12.2012“This system works perfectly”, guaranteed the president of the National ElectoralCouncil (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, speaking of the voting platform that will be employedin the coming October 7 presidential election.She mentioned that the voting lists have been checked, as well as the fingerprintdatabase, the voting machine software and the ID software for the voter informationstations, while the the voting machines are currently being asssembledhttp://noticiaaldia.com/2012/09/cne-pruebas-a-plataforma-electoral-confieren-tranquilidad-y-seguridad-antes-del-7-o/La VerdadOEV:“There is no way someone other than the voter will know his preference”| 09.09.2012The Observatorio Electoral Venezolano (OEV), an electoral watchdog organization, hastrust in the voting machine software after taking part in the system audit carried out bythe CNE last week. “There´s no way someone other than the voter knows his preference”,affirmed the organization’s director, Luis Lander.The audit in which the OEV participated included the voting machines and the new biometricidentification system, which will use the SAI (Identity Authentication System) machines.“There´s enough guarantees that the vote counts of every polling station will beproperly transmitted and securely totaled up, which guarantees respect to the vote”,added Lander, who also said the system meets a high standard of technologicalsofistication.http://www.laverdad.com/politica/10781-oev-no-habra-manera-de-que-alguien-distinto-al-elector-sepa-por-quie-voto.htmlAIM (Argentina)Venezuela tested its voting system | 09.03.2012Venezuela carried out a drill automated election, just like the one on October 7 will be.Over 1,550 polling centers verified the time needed to cast a vote.The president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), TIbisay Lucena, remarked that allcenters opened at the scheduled time and added that the test, from a technicalstandpoint, was carried out with “great normality and calm”. She stated that the positivedevelopment of this drill is “good news for October 7” and pointed out that the averagetime it takes a voter to cast his choice is 1:30 minutes.http://www.aimdigital.com.ar/aim/2012/09/03/venezuela-puso-a-prueba-su-sistema-electoral/ 15
  17. 17. Últimas NoticiasUNT: Voting is secret, quick and secure | 09.03.2012Vicente Bello, delegate for electoral matters of the political party Un Nuevo Tiempo,performed a balance of the voting drill carried out last Sunday, where the new votingmachines and procedures to be used on October 7 were shown to the public.Vicente Bello guaranteed that voting is secret, quick and secure, and called electors todisregard those who are publishing exit poll results, since this drill had a voter turnoutof only 10 to 15%.http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/tuvoto/noticiaselectorales/unt--el-voto-es-secreto--rapido-y-seguro.aspxPrensa LatinaVenezuelan voting system is robust | 08.29.2012The president of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, remarked the robustnessof the Venezuelan (voting) system during the opening ceremony of the internationalseminary “Innovation and Technological Vanguard: Voting systems”.She added that the effort to optimize voting processes allowed a transition from theearly technological add-ons of 1998 to the full voting automation of today.http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=539793&Itemid=1El NacionalCNE started voting machines audit | 08.28.2012The National Electoral Council started the audit to the voting machines that will be usedduring the October 7 presidential elections. This review, which will end Friday, will allowtechnicians from the political parties to confirm that the secrecy of voting is guaranteed,and also know the time it will take voters to cast their choice. The handling of voting fileswill also be tested, and it will be confirmed that the information in the machines is onlytransmited to the CNE´s totalization room, knowing that the results will not be alteredduring the transmission process.http://impresodigital.elnacional.com/ediciones/guardar/guardar.asp?dia=28&mes=08&anio=2012&archivo=n1_3n4GlobovisiónRamón Guillermo Aveledo: SAI: “In technology we must trust” | 08.20.2012Last Sunday, the Executive Secretary of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD)Guillermo Aveledo appeared on En Privado. “In technology we must trust”, he saidregarding the Integrated Authentication System (SAI), which will be employed by theNational Electoral Council for the upcoming October 7 presidential election.http://globovision.com/articulo/ramon-guillermo-aveledo-sobre-sai-en-la-tecnologia-hay-que-confiarDiario La Voz“Secrecy of voting is bullet-proof” | 08.19.2012The engineers and members of the Electoral Comission of Comando Venezuela, MiguelCañas and Roberto Picón, stated that in the new platform for the Integrated AuthenticationSystem (SAI), which is to be used in the presidential election, the votes and the ID numbersof voters are stored separately, meaning there is no way to know which candidate wasselected by any given voter.http://www.diariolavoz.net/2012/08/19/secreto-del-voto-esta-blindado/ 16
  18. 18. Noti ZuliaSix advantages of the Venezuelan automated voting system| 08.18.2012Samira Saba, Communications Director at Smartmatic, the company that works togetherwith the National Council for Elections in designing the voting machines and devices tobe used in the October 7 presidential election, explained the advantages of having anautomated voting system. 1) It eliminates voluntary human errors. 2) It removes subjectivity from decision making. 3) There is consistency; no human interpretation during the process. 4) It expedites the processes of voting, tallying and totaling up results. 5) It reduces the exposure of people to risky tasks, generating trust in the procedure. 6) It protects sensitive information; it guarantees the secrecy and security of the vote.http://www.notizulia.net/nacionales/373-otras-noticias/41513-seis-ventajas-del-voto-automatizado-en-venezuela.htmlEuropapressJennifer McCoy: The Carter Center praises the Venezuelan voting system for its“several control mechanisms” | 08.17.2012The Director of the Program for the Americas of the Carter Center, Jennifer McCoy,has praised the Venezuelan voting system since it has “several control mechanisms”and can be easily verified and audited in case a political party or citizen denouncesirregularities.http://www.europapress.es/latam/venezuela/noticia-venezuela-centro-carter-elogia-sistema-electoral-venezolano-porque-tiene-muchisimos-mecanismos-control-20120817160550.htmlPrensa LatinaVenezuela has a safe and sofisticated voting system | 08.16.2012Today Venezuela has a safe and sofisticated voting system, stated representatives of theCarter Center and guests to the seminary “Coverage of Automated Electoral Processes”,which took place in Maracaibo, Zulia state. In this event, organized by the Program forstrengthening journalism of the Carter Center, several speakers agreed that Venezuela andBrasil have safe voting automation systems.http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=536251&ItemidEl NacionalSAI and new LED e-ballot worked perfectly | 08.06.2012The CNE reported that it took voters between 60 and 90 seconds to cast their votes.During yesterday’s voting drill in preparation for the presidential election, the technologicalplatform worked perfectly and with minimal incidents. Voter turnout, however, wasmodest.The new LED e-ballots, the Integrated Authentication System and the new votinghorseshoe configuration for the polling stations were tested in 55 polling centers.http://impresodigital.elnacional.com/ediciones/guardar/guardar.asp?dia=07&mes=08&anio=2012&archivo=n1_3n1Noticias24Tearing down the myths regarding the secrecy of voting: How does the IntegratedAuthentication System Work? | 08.02.2012The members of the Electoral Comission of Comando Venezuela, Mario Torres and MiguelCañas, appeared today on Soluciones (Globovision) to explain the operation of theIntegrated Authentication System (SAI), and stated that the voting process will be secure,reliable and secret. 17
  19. 19. The new identification system, which is used to check the voter’s ID, is presented as asafe authentication mechanism which stores information randomly and breaks the timesequence of the voter´s arrival, the checking of his the IDs and his voting.http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/119323/desmontando-los-mitos-del-secreto-al-voto-%C2%BFcomo-funciona-el-sistema-de-autenticacion-integrado/Venezolana de TelevisiónNicolás Maduro: We must feel proud of the Venezuelan voting system | 07.26.2012Venezuela’s voting system is bullet-proof, stated Chancellor Nicolás Maduro. “We havea voting system that has been perfected over time (…) from a technological standpoint,it is flawless, and it guarantees the expression of the will of the people and transparencyduring all voting processes”, he added.http://www.vtv.gov.ve/index.php/voto2012/85257-nicolas-maduro-tenemos-que-sentirnos-orgullos-del-sistema-electoral-venezolanoEl UniversalMiguel Cañas and Mario Torre: "Voting in Venezuela has always been and will alwaysbe secret” |07.23.2012Mario Torre and Miguel Cañas are part of the technical staff that audits Venezuela´sautomated voting system since 2005. Torre, an electrical engineer with an M.D. inSystems Engineering, states that any attempted fraud on October 7 “could only befaced by a mobilized populace all over the country defending their electoral will”.Cañas, also and electrical engineer with a Ph.D. in Computer Science, explains thatthe transparency of the voting process “isn’t a merely technical task”, so he restatesthe importance of a “paper trail”, necessary for citizens to verify the operation of thevoting system.http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/120723/el-voto-en-venezuela-siempre-ha-sido-y-seguira-siendo-secretoEl UniversalThere is no undetectable fraud by Eugenio Martínez | 07.19.2012The secrecy of voting is guaranteed, since the votes are randomly recorded, themachines record all votes with the same timestamp (thus breaking down any timesequence), the votes are stored randomly (no correlation with the order of voters) andthen they’re encrypted; when the voting closes, the votes are tallied, a voting log isprinted and only then is the data transmitted. The random storage methods have beenused and verified in previous elections, including those won by the opposition in 2007,2008 and 2010. This is a very extensive topic for which the space in this column isinsufficient. However, let´s remember that Smartmatic, although born in Venezuela, isa prestigious multinational company. So why would they risk losing that prestige overa Venezuelan election? Although some theoreticians of voting fraud refuse to acknowledgeit, Smartmatic´s electoral technology and its voting machines have performed as expected;the fact that the opposition couldn´t get accredited witnesses in certain polling stations,the unbalance of the electoral campaign or the government’s social blackmail of the votersthrough its social welfare plans, are all separate matters. es.http://www.eluniversal.com/opinion/120719/no-hay-fraude-no-detectable 18
  20. 20. Últimas NoticiasCNE voting system cannot be tampered with | 07.18.2012This was stated by the Rector of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Socorro Hernández,who also added that “there is no way that the results of the voting process are tamperedwith, all the glitches of the past have been resolved, the system just gets more robusteach time around”. She commented that the nature of Venezuelan political processeshave raised the level of exigence of the voting system, a demand unique in the world.“We have approximately 17 audits, including a software audit, one of the ElectoralRegistry, the voter lists, the assembly of the voting machines, the fingerprint database,even of the indelible ink for the voters’ fingers, as well as a pre-dispatch audit”, sheadded. With these measures, the CNE hopes that all Venezuelan citizens and politicalparties verify that the voting process is carried out transparently.http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/tuvoto/noticiaselectorales/descartan-que-sistema-electoral-del-cne-pueda-ser-.aspxEl ImpulsoTeresa Albanes rejects criticisms to the Venezuelan voting process| 07.13.2012The opposition trusts the tehcnical aspect of the October 7 presidential election, whiledenouncing a disproportionate use of resources and the media to boost President HugoChavez´s campaign, according to Albanes. “So far, the technicians who have beenreviewing the platform have only said (…) this automated system works”, he added.Albanes recognized that the MUD, whose candidate is the former governor HerniqueCapriles Radonski, must do a better job informing the population to reassure them that“the use of this automated (voting) system is safe”.http://elimpulso.com/articulo/teresa-albanes-rechaza-criticas-a-proceso-electoral-en-venezuelaEl Mundo.com.veFive myths about e-voting | 07.12.2012Automation aims to eliminate any possibility of human error, intimidation, sabotage orfraud. The system allows for multiple audits of the process and gives the commoncitizen a chance to be a part of the vote´s chain of custody. Myth #1: “Currently, only few use e-voting”. FALSE. Myth #2: “With e-voting it’s impossible to have an independent vote count”. FALSE. Myth #3: “Manual vote counting is more transparent than an automated vote counting”. FALSE. Myth #4: “An automated tallying of the results is less safe than transporting them ‘physically’ to a totalization center”. FALSE. Myth #5: “Countries with manual voting have results faster than those where e-voting is used”.FALSE.http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/cinco-mitos-sobre-el-voto-electronico.aspxHormiga AnalíticaSmartmatic: E-voting guarantees final results in less than 48 hours| 07.04.2012Final results of the Venezuelan presidential election could be had in less than 48 hours,according to a press release by Smartmatic, the technology supplier for the NationalElectoral Council. This company, which has carried out elections in several countriesincluding the USA and the Philippines, gives a series of recommendations hoping todisprove the myths surrounding this electoral process. Smartmatic explains that thereduction in human error and in the vulnerability of voting have boosted a worldwidetrend in favour of implementing voting technology, one that guarantees transparent,swift and secure elections for the voters.http://www.hormigaanalitica.com/informatica/articulo/5358/Smartmatic:-Voto-electronico-garantiza-resultados-definitivos-en-menos-de-48-horas 19
  21. 21. Panorama"Votes are randomly stored"| 06.26.2012The Integrated Automated System (SAI) includes the biometric identification of votersthrough their fingerprints. According to the CNE, these fingerprint capture machines enforcethe “one voter, one vote” principle. These devices are connected to the voting machines,but there is no way to establish a sequence between order of the voters and their choices,as was explained by the CNE Rectors Socorro Hernández and Vicente Díaz, who alsoanswered frequently asked questions by the voters.http://www.panorama.com.ve/portal/app/vista/detalle_noticia.php?id=23795Últimas NoticiasCNE guarantees auditability of the voting system| 06.06.2012The Venezuelan voting system is automated and auditable in all its stages, according to areport on the website of the National Electoral Council (www.cne.gob.ve), which also statesthat Venezuelans “are using the Smartmatic Auditable Election Systems (SAES) machines,which are an innovative and a 100% secure alternative for voting automation”.http://epaper.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/impresodigital/xml_epaper/Ultimas_Noticias/06_06_2012/pla_74_Caracas/xml_arts/art_4756823.xmlt 20