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https://oevenezolano.org/
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https://www.redobservacion.org/
https://oevenezolano.org/
https://www.sumate.org/
https://www.redobservacion.org/ E SSE NTIA L ELEC TORA L
C OND I TI ON S F OR 2024
IDENTIFICATION, REGISTRATION AND
THE VOTE OF VENEZUELAN MIGRANTS
What can the international
community do?
The Venezuelan Electoral Registry (ER) is discontinuous and dated. The announced resumption
of political negotiation mechanisms represents a timely opportunity to address the electoral
process at the negotiating table in Mexico. The complexity of the registry, due to internal delays
and the volume of migration, demands addressing the issue as far in advance and as willingly as
possible.
Although official data from the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE)
suggest that the Electoral Registry is composed of 21,129,519 voters, of these voters, only
107,892 are registered to vote abroad. This means that if national elections were held this
Sunday, only those people would have the right to vote abroad.
The number of voters registered abroad contrasts with the numbers provided by the
Interagency Coordination Platform for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants (Plataforma de
Coordinación Interagencial para Refugiados y Migrantes de Venezuela), led jointly by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for
Migration (IOM), which calculates that the number of Venezuelans abroad amounts to
7,134,132. This number equates to 21.3 percent of the estimated population of Venezuela in
2022 according to the Venezuelan National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de
Estadística de Venezuela, INE).
Of the total number of Venezuelans abroad, it is estimated that 4,897,709 citizens,
representing 71.97 percent of Venezuelans abroad, are over 18 years of age. However, only two
percent are registered in the Electorla Registry abroad and could vote in a presidential election.
Electoral challenges exist that cannot wait until the last minute to be addressed since their
complexity demands time and planning. Updating the Electoral Registry is one of these
challenges. The CNE, as the administrator of the Electoral Registry, should act now to
create an action plan to guarantee the right to vote in future elections.
The causes of the discrepancies in the Electoral registry of voters abroad can be summarized in
four categories: (i) a restrictive judicial regulation, contrary to constitutional bases and
international standards of the right to vote, which limits participation of citizens abroad to those
who can demonstrate legal permanent residency wherever they are located; (ii) a complex
migratory situation, in the framework of the Venezuelan humanitarian emergency; (iii) a deficient
administrative practice that greatly limits the issuance of identification documents – identity
cards and passports – to Venezueans inside and outside the country; and, (iv) an irregular and
inefficient administrative practice of the Electoral Registry that does not grant the same
guarantees to the right to vote abroad as inside the country.
It is important to remember that the sixth recommendation from the final report of the Electoral
Observation Mission of the European Union for the 2021 regional elections suggests that it is
necessaryto provide more options tovoters, includingVenezuelans abroad, to update their
information outside of electoral periods, highlighting the need to flexibilize registration
requirements and to negotiate the facilitation of registration with receiving countries in order to
improve the accuracy of the Electoral Registry.
As indicated previously, the signing of institutional agreements with international
organizations is a priority. The special regulations that govern voting abroad should
establish that the CNE sign agreements to collaborate with international actors in various
phases of the electoral process for the diaspora’s exercise of the right to vote. Those
agreements can then turn into memorandums of understanding or agreements with (i) the
receiving country; (ii) international or regional authorities, such as IOM, UNHCR or other
United Nations authorities; or (iii) non-governmental organizations that offer support to
refugees and forced migrants or electoral cooperation organizations. The extent of that
cooperation and the responsibility of the parties to the agreement may vary according to the
extraterritorial suffrage needs that arise in the different receiving countries, especially in
those countries that have the most Venezuelan migrants. Institutional agreements can
have as a goal, for example, cooperation in the following phases of the electoral
process:
Electoral Registry: Technological and logistical support for the implementation of
electoral registration operations, including the installation of mobile registration and
information updating centers outside of embassies and consulates. In the case of
receiving countries, support in granting documents that certify the address, residency or
immigration status of the voter.
Election Day: Establishing voting centers outside of embassies and consulates;
maintaining public order during election day; transport or safekeeping of electoral
material.
Information campaigns for voters: collaboration in the mobilization of voters to
electoral registration centers and to voting centers. Support to party poll watchers,
polling station members and electoral observation agents.
Presenting an original and a copy of a Venezuelan
passport is one of the five requirements required by the
Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to register or
update information in the Electoral Registry of
Venezuelans around the world.
This is not a minor requirement, especially considering that,
since November 2022, acquiring a Venezuelan passport
abroad is more expensive as the Venezuelan Ministry of
Foreign Affairs changed the amounts of the duties and
tariffs that must be charged by consular offices and
Venezuelan embassies abroad. In total, processing a
passport abroad could cost between $220 and $320,
depending on the validity of the passport.
As different studies show, only a minority of Venezuelan
migrants work in well-paying jobs, as managers or
professionals, while in general the percentage of migrants
sending remittances to their families in the country has
been declining.
More expensive documents hinder and prevent migrants
from applying for documents, obtaining them and being
able to exercise the rights that they confer.
In addition to presenting an original and a copy of a
passport, other requirements for being able to register in
the Electoral Registry or updating one’s voting center in
Venezuela or abroad are: being at least 18 years of age
; presenting an original and a copy of a laminated
Venezuelan identity card, current or expired; continuous
residency and a document that shows legal
permanent residency abroad.
On the website of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign
Affairs , where the five requirements are listed, it states
that registration or change of address in the Electoral
Registry is a process offered to all Venezuelans living
abroad who seek to participate in presidential
elections and exercise their right to vote in
Venezuelan embassies or consulates, whether it be as
a first-time voter or due to a change in voting center
location. Nonetheless, the reality shows that this right
has not been guaranteed for some time.
$220 for a
Venezuelan passport
Other requirements
Negotiating conditions
The negotiations between political actors that are
resuming in Mexico must include the topic of elections,
and within this topic, the obligatory opening of the
Electoral Registry inside and outside of Venezuela.
In this sense, it is necessary to remember that the
infrastructure for updating the Electoral Registry, both
inside and outside the country, is absolutely insufficient.
Outside Venezuela, it is essential, in addition to the
resumption of the process of updating information and
registration in consulates, to establish agreements with
the main receiving countries aimed at improving and
expanding the available infrastructure for responding to
the identification and registration needs of
Venezuelans residing abroad. Recognizing the high
volume of migration, it is essential to explore avenues for
automating registration and information updating in the
Electoral Registry through processes that enable remote
registration without requiring in-person presence.
Another major logistical challenge that complicates
identification, registration and voting abroad is the
drastic insufficiency of consular offices to respond to
potential demand.
If 17 of the 88 total Venezuelan consulates where the
highest concentration of Venezuelans abroad reside, are
taken as reference, the logistical challenge of providing
identity documents, processing registration in the
Electoral Registry and facilitating voting abroad in 2024
becomes clear. In no scenario is there the required
infrastructure or logistical capacity to guarantee the right
to identity and the exercise of political rights.
COUNTRY CITY VOTERS VENEZUELANS
Existing Public
Service Capacity
ARGENTINA
CHILE
COLOMBIA
COLOMBIA
ECUADOR
ECUADOR
SPAIN
SPAIN
SPAIN
SPAIN
SPAIN
MÉXICO
PERÚ
PORTUGAL
PORTUGAL
DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC
URUGUAY
BUENOS AIRES
SANTIAGO
BOGOTÁ
BUCARAMANGA
GUAYAQUIL
QUITO
BARCELONA
BILBAO
MADRID
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE
VIGO
MÉXICO CITY
LIMA
FUNCHAL-MADEIRA
LISBOA
SANTO DOMINGO
MONTEVIDEO
2,264
2,076
3,575
696
283
705
7,146
1,180
8,432
4,155
2,151
2,448
597
1,109
475
646
393
193,759
478,556
2,477,588
552,500
439,516
101,858
1,286,464
27,700
120,945
19,908
N/A
15 users per day
Not in operation
Not in operation
Not in operation
12 users per day
40 users per day
6 users per day
25 users per day
50 users per day
7 users per day
100 users per day
N/A
N/A
N/A
80 users per day
19 users per day

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CONDICIONES ESENCIALES PARA EL EJERCICIO DEL SUFRAGIO DE LOS VENEZOLANOS EN EL EXTRANJERO

  • 1. https://oevenezolano.org/ https://www.sumate.org/ https://www.redobservacion.org/ https://oevenezolano.org/ https://www.sumate.org/ https://www.redobservacion.org/ E SSE NTIA L ELEC TORA L C OND I TI ON S F OR 2024 IDENTIFICATION, REGISTRATION AND THE VOTE OF VENEZUELAN MIGRANTS What can the international community do? The Venezuelan Electoral Registry (ER) is discontinuous and dated. The announced resumption of political negotiation mechanisms represents a timely opportunity to address the electoral process at the negotiating table in Mexico. The complexity of the registry, due to internal delays and the volume of migration, demands addressing the issue as far in advance and as willingly as possible. Although official data from the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) suggest that the Electoral Registry is composed of 21,129,519 voters, of these voters, only 107,892 are registered to vote abroad. This means that if national elections were held this Sunday, only those people would have the right to vote abroad. The number of voters registered abroad contrasts with the numbers provided by the Interagency Coordination Platform for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants (Plataforma de Coordinación Interagencial para Refugiados y Migrantes de Venezuela), led jointly by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which calculates that the number of Venezuelans abroad amounts to 7,134,132. This number equates to 21.3 percent of the estimated population of Venezuela in 2022 according to the Venezuelan National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Venezuela, INE). Of the total number of Venezuelans abroad, it is estimated that 4,897,709 citizens, representing 71.97 percent of Venezuelans abroad, are over 18 years of age. However, only two percent are registered in the Electorla Registry abroad and could vote in a presidential election. Electoral challenges exist that cannot wait until the last minute to be addressed since their complexity demands time and planning. Updating the Electoral Registry is one of these challenges. The CNE, as the administrator of the Electoral Registry, should act now to create an action plan to guarantee the right to vote in future elections. The causes of the discrepancies in the Electoral registry of voters abroad can be summarized in four categories: (i) a restrictive judicial regulation, contrary to constitutional bases and international standards of the right to vote, which limits participation of citizens abroad to those who can demonstrate legal permanent residency wherever they are located; (ii) a complex migratory situation, in the framework of the Venezuelan humanitarian emergency; (iii) a deficient administrative practice that greatly limits the issuance of identification documents – identity cards and passports – to Venezueans inside and outside the country; and, (iv) an irregular and inefficient administrative practice of the Electoral Registry that does not grant the same guarantees to the right to vote abroad as inside the country. It is important to remember that the sixth recommendation from the final report of the Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union for the 2021 regional elections suggests that it is necessaryto provide more options tovoters, includingVenezuelans abroad, to update their information outside of electoral periods, highlighting the need to flexibilize registration requirements and to negotiate the facilitation of registration with receiving countries in order to improve the accuracy of the Electoral Registry. As indicated previously, the signing of institutional agreements with international organizations is a priority. The special regulations that govern voting abroad should establish that the CNE sign agreements to collaborate with international actors in various phases of the electoral process for the diaspora’s exercise of the right to vote. Those agreements can then turn into memorandums of understanding or agreements with (i) the receiving country; (ii) international or regional authorities, such as IOM, UNHCR or other United Nations authorities; or (iii) non-governmental organizations that offer support to refugees and forced migrants or electoral cooperation organizations. The extent of that cooperation and the responsibility of the parties to the agreement may vary according to the extraterritorial suffrage needs that arise in the different receiving countries, especially in those countries that have the most Venezuelan migrants. Institutional agreements can have as a goal, for example, cooperation in the following phases of the electoral process: Electoral Registry: Technological and logistical support for the implementation of electoral registration operations, including the installation of mobile registration and information updating centers outside of embassies and consulates. In the case of receiving countries, support in granting documents that certify the address, residency or immigration status of the voter. Election Day: Establishing voting centers outside of embassies and consulates; maintaining public order during election day; transport or safekeeping of electoral material. Information campaigns for voters: collaboration in the mobilization of voters to electoral registration centers and to voting centers. Support to party poll watchers, polling station members and electoral observation agents. Presenting an original and a copy of a Venezuelan passport is one of the five requirements required by the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to register or update information in the Electoral Registry of Venezuelans around the world. This is not a minor requirement, especially considering that, since November 2022, acquiring a Venezuelan passport abroad is more expensive as the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed the amounts of the duties and tariffs that must be charged by consular offices and Venezuelan embassies abroad. In total, processing a passport abroad could cost between $220 and $320, depending on the validity of the passport. As different studies show, only a minority of Venezuelan migrants work in well-paying jobs, as managers or professionals, while in general the percentage of migrants sending remittances to their families in the country has been declining. More expensive documents hinder and prevent migrants from applying for documents, obtaining them and being able to exercise the rights that they confer. In addition to presenting an original and a copy of a passport, other requirements for being able to register in the Electoral Registry or updating one’s voting center in Venezuela or abroad are: being at least 18 years of age ; presenting an original and a copy of a laminated Venezuelan identity card, current or expired; continuous residency and a document that shows legal permanent residency abroad. On the website of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs , where the five requirements are listed, it states that registration or change of address in the Electoral Registry is a process offered to all Venezuelans living abroad who seek to participate in presidential elections and exercise their right to vote in Venezuelan embassies or consulates, whether it be as a first-time voter or due to a change in voting center location. Nonetheless, the reality shows that this right has not been guaranteed for some time. $220 for a Venezuelan passport Other requirements Negotiating conditions The negotiations between political actors that are resuming in Mexico must include the topic of elections, and within this topic, the obligatory opening of the Electoral Registry inside and outside of Venezuela. In this sense, it is necessary to remember that the infrastructure for updating the Electoral Registry, both inside and outside the country, is absolutely insufficient. Outside Venezuela, it is essential, in addition to the resumption of the process of updating information and registration in consulates, to establish agreements with the main receiving countries aimed at improving and expanding the available infrastructure for responding to the identification and registration needs of Venezuelans residing abroad. Recognizing the high volume of migration, it is essential to explore avenues for automating registration and information updating in the Electoral Registry through processes that enable remote registration without requiring in-person presence. Another major logistical challenge that complicates identification, registration and voting abroad is the drastic insufficiency of consular offices to respond to potential demand. If 17 of the 88 total Venezuelan consulates where the highest concentration of Venezuelans abroad reside, are taken as reference, the logistical challenge of providing identity documents, processing registration in the Electoral Registry and facilitating voting abroad in 2024 becomes clear. In no scenario is there the required infrastructure or logistical capacity to guarantee the right to identity and the exercise of political rights. COUNTRY CITY VOTERS VENEZUELANS Existing Public Service Capacity ARGENTINA CHILE COLOMBIA COLOMBIA ECUADOR ECUADOR SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN MÉXICO PERÚ PORTUGAL PORTUGAL DOMINICAN REPUBLIC URUGUAY BUENOS AIRES SANTIAGO BOGOTÁ BUCARAMANGA GUAYAQUIL QUITO BARCELONA BILBAO MADRID SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE VIGO MÉXICO CITY LIMA FUNCHAL-MADEIRA LISBOA SANTO DOMINGO MONTEVIDEO 2,264 2,076 3,575 696 283 705 7,146 1,180 8,432 4,155 2,151 2,448 597 1,109 475 646 393 193,759 478,556 2,477,588 552,500 439,516 101,858 1,286,464 27,700 120,945 19,908 N/A 15 users per day Not in operation Not in operation Not in operation 12 users per day 40 users per day 6 users per day 25 users per day 50 users per day 7 users per day 100 users per day N/A N/A N/A 80 users per day 19 users per day