Friday, November 29, 2013

Proving Electoral Fraud Takes Time

We just had a twitter exchange with Alberto Arce, reporter for the AP. Here it is:
  1. ¿por qué los periodistas tenemos esa mala manía de pedir pruebas de las cosas que la gente denuncia?.
  2. Honduras Cult Politi@HondurasCultPol 8m
    why do proofs have to be provided faster than the TSE counts the vote? Maybe press could consider giving people time to respond
  3. albertoarce@alberarce 36s
    I am not reporting fraud if those who claim it dont show the evidence. LIBRE said they won with 2.8% of the vote counted.
this is what I do. Report the findings of the intnal observers, the official results and wait.

As we added: we are fine with you waiting. Not so fine with the press setting the timeline for action.

Here's the issue for us: the TSE should be providing accurate counts. The international community is acting as if the TSE is providing accurate counts. So the approach is: prove these aren't the real numbers.

There are ongoing efforts to do just that. We are doing our own analysis, and have found that there are discrepancies with at least 500 actas so far.

Whether these errors result in a systematic undercount of LIBRE and/or PAC votes, or systematically add votes to the Partido Nacional, is not clear yet. Getting this kind of convincing, systematic documentation takes time.

We don't expect Alberto Arce, or any other reporter, to claim fraud. We just would hope that the international press could be a little more nuanced in reporting this story. If you are used to European or US electoral systems, it is hard to give credence to how things are done in Honduran elections-- to the essential fragility of the vote count system.

The TSE needs this long to tally part of the vote; demanding that the proof of inconsistencies be presented faster than the TSE counts can seem like taking sides to those frustrated by the process itself. And yes, that will make people in Honduras suspicious and critical of the press.

1 comment:

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

In the last 24 hours I have heard a wide range of evaluations on the elections.

Two EU observers stopped by and heard what Caritas workers found out. Looking back, what I now find interesting is the lack of critical questions; I think they just wanted "facts," "numbers."

Another group of people seem convinced that this was pre-planned, with the assistance of the US government. They noted that soon after there were reports coming in to the radio stations that showed LIBRE or PAC doing very well and the National Party doing poorly, the TSE went on the national channel with their results.

Another group noted the selling of credentials, the people who were "dead" showing up at the poll and not being able to vote, urnas being stolen and some ending up being discovered in a car in Tegucigalpa, and the inconsistencies between what was reported from the polling stations and the TSE results - most often to the advantage of the National Party.

But the most interesting remark I heard was that chances of proving a fraud or having anything done at it have been rendered minimal because of the changes made in the Fiscalia with more Partido Nacional folks in charge at the top. But he also noted that Juan Orlando had changed the Supreme Court in such a way that not only would he be declared the winner of the primaries but also so that legal proceedings on fraud would have a snowballs chance in hell. (My image, not his.)

Proving electoral fraud not only takes time, but in a situation where the system is so susceptible of manipulation, it might be well nigh impossible.