Monday, November 25, 2013

Two-thirds into the tally...

Actually 61.72%, to be precise-- according to the TSE in Honduras.

(I will admit to a bias here: as a sometimes-quantitative social scientist, two places to the right of the decimal point on things like this always make me think: false precision! and never more so than when we are dealing with a deeply problematic process of adding numbers from, essentially, emails.)

The margin between the reported leading candidates got a little closer (in percentage) and a little wider (in votes): 98,881 votes now separate Juan Orlando Hernández and Xiomara Castro, with his percentage now closer to 34% and hers almost up to 29%:

Partido Nacional 631,079 votes: 34.19%
LIBRE 532,198 votes: 28.83%
Partido Liberal 383,203 votes: 20.76%
Partido Anti-Corrupción 287,747 votes: 15.59%

There are reports, sometimes garbled in the English language coverage, that cite the fact that the TSE is concealing or suppressing the numbers from 20% of the tallies. This can be traced to the statements of Enrique Reina, the designado of the LIBRE party, last night, contained in LIBRE's press statement:
The data that the TSE has released are not sufficient to indicate a trend, owing to the fact that more than 20% of the total tallies in its power have not been counted owed to supposed anomalies.

In other news coverage, Reina elaborated:
there exist differences of more than 20% that do not coincide with the [counts] announced and that could change the outcome... they have slowed the sending of the official counts in which LIBRE is winning to set back the count to their advantage ... the TSE does the same by not counting talleys in which we won and that strangely have been scanned with the end turned over to hide the number and they are those that are being sent for auditing...What we know is that the tallies of the departments in which our numbers indicate a great advantage have not been counted or are being detained for reasons that we do not know.

The same points were reiterated by José Manuel Zelaya today, speaking on behalf of the party.

It may seem to outside observers that these objections are simply sour grapes. But the reality of elections in Honduras makes it imperative that all the votes are tallied, because manipulation of results in counting does occur.

In 2009, the original reported turnout was widely hailed as a major victory. In the end, the numbers came down, as the TSE completed counting. A few English-language media corrected their original, hasty stories (which were accurate reports of what the TSE was saying) but most did not.

With a reported 20% of ballot box summaries having "anomalies" requiring them to be validated before being added to the total count, all it takes is for those ballot boxes to be systematically skewed to have official results not match real voting.

Everyone should hold on before pronouncing this process is at an end.

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