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CNE Assures Venezuela's Electoral System is "Protected"

The President of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, reiterated on Monday that security protocols for the April 14th presidential election have been fully implemented.

“Our electoral system is protected.  In addition to having audited every phase, the security mechanisms are complex.  Therefore we can calmly tell the campaign headquarters, political organizations and candidates, as well as all the voters, that the electoral system is transparent, trustworthy, quick and efficient.  And that is how it will continue to function for the benefit of everyone,” Lucena said in a press conference.

Regarding the campaigns, the CNE president noted that investigations had been opened into the campaigns of candidates Henrique Capriles and Nicolás Maduro due to alleged excesses in political propaganda.

Lucena added that television campaign coverage and the diversity of campaign spokespersons was “more or less balanced on Televen and Venevision,” but not in Globovision or Venezolana de Television.

Message to Poll Workers

Lucena also called upon poll workers to attend their training sessions and receive accreditation.  She said that as of Monday afternoon, 16.8% of poll workers had attended a training session and been accredited.

She then explained that everything is going according to schedule.  90% of polling stations and the electoral system are already operational.

“We expect another 5% to be ready on Friday when the voting stations are installed and the remaining 5% to be ready on Sunday at 6:00 in the morning,” said Lucena.

She reminded the political parties that nominated candidates that accreditation for witnesses is now available.  As of Monday, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has an accredited witness in 96% of polling stations.  The rightwing party has accredited witnesses in 48% of stations.

Lucena noted that witnesses can be found in the Voter Information System, as well as in local and foreign polling stations, in municipal boards, in the information transmission center, in the vote count hall and in the CNE.

“We urge them to hurry so they can have witnesses in every approved area,” she said.
The results of the elections will be released approximately three hours after the closure of polling stations.  “Last year the results came very quickly and we are sure that this year will be the same,” Lucena emphasized.

Security and Accompaniment

Among other security measures, the CNE president noted that photography inside the polling stations is not allowed.  Moreover, she highlighted the importance of citizen audits, explaining that anyone can audit the process “as long as the physical space in the voting area allows it.”

“To incentivize citizens to take part in this verification audit, we will raffle iPods at the stations,” she said.

Information about the ballot will be posted in polling stations and will also run in the Sunday editions of national newspapers, as will security regulations, the Republic Plan to guarantee the vote, and the names of polling station coordinators.

Regarding international accompaniment, Lucena affirmed that the CNE received confirmation from over a hundred from around the world.  Electoral groups from UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) and UNIORE (Inter-American Union of Electoral Agencies) are already in Venezuela, she noted.

“This demonstrates the new way of encouraging international cooperation on electoral matters and is an expression of integration, respect for political diversity, solidarity and the exchange of knowledge, in practice,” she explained.

Lucena concluded by noting that on Tuesday the candidates will sign a document acknowledging the results of April 14th and respecting the country’s electoral agency.

“The [Maduro] campaign asked us to create this accord and tomorrow at 3 p.m. we will have the document for campaigns to sign,” Lucena said.

AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / April 9, 2013

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