Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights

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Posts tagged turnout

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Was Turnout Decisive in the Regional Elections?

Hugo Pérez Hernaíz and David Smilde

There has been much comment on low voter turnout for the December 16 regional elections. In an interview the day after the elections opposition leader Julio Borges argued that if every opposition voter that voted for Capriles in the presidential election had also voted in the regional elections, the opposition would have won up to 18 States. Since then, chain messages circulating in opposition web sites and social media have insisted on the point. Here is a translation of one anonymous message:

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Filed under Venezuela regional elections turnout

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Turnout Light

David Smilde

This morning I drove around to the same electoral centers in Petare (East side of Caracas, in the state of Miranda) I visited during the October Presidential election. The difference was striking. No electoral centers had lines including one in El Llanito which at the same time of day (11 am) during the presidential elections had a line close to a kilometer long.

To get a feel for the difference look at the following two pictures of an electoral center in Jose Felix Ribas, a neighborhood in Petare.


This was the head of a line that was a couple of hundred meters long on October 7.


Today there was no line and people strolled easily in and out.

The Consejo Nacional Electoral estimated that participation had been 24% by 1 pm which would mean an overall turnout of 50% at the most. By international standards that is not bad for regional elections. But it would be significantly lower than the 2008 regional elections (62%) and much lower than predicted by those of us who thought this weeks’s dramatic events surrounding Chávez’s health would increase participation. 

Indeed driving around it looks like an average December Sunday with traffic jams around shopping malls, not electoral centers.

Filed under Venezuela regional elections turnout abstention