“We want to assure the people of Venezuela, the political actors who live in our country and international [representatives accompanying the referendum], that the electoral system we implemented in the country is absolutely protected, thanks to auditing processes that take place before, during, and after the act of voting,” said Tibisay Lucena, President of the National Electoral Council (CNE).
Lucena made this remark on Friday during a discussion with representatives of the Republican Moral Council (which is part of the Citizen Branch of government) and international representatives accompanying the referendum for a constitutional amendment on February 15th.
Also present at the event, which took place at the Hotel Alba Caracas, were Luisa Estalla Morales, President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court (TSJ), and Gabriela Ramírez, Public Defender, as well as other members of the CNE.
“Audits make our system one of the more trustworthy in the world, because not only are the machines audited, which corroborate the vote, but we have also incorporated a percentage of the ballots,” explained Lucena.
This, the CNE president indicated, “creates tranquility among the population and political factors; they can all have the guarantee of the right to vote and that electoral results will be respected and are completely transparent.”
Regarding electoral campaigning and propaganda, she explained: “we have a system that allows for reports to be filed by political organizations and citizens, but we have also implemented a mechanism, that did not exist [before], of election attorneys who are stationed throughout the country to ensure the law is obeyed.”
Nevertheless, Lucena indicated that mechanisms to sanction those who violate the law are still in development, since “the law was not very clear with regards to how to sanction those who violated electoral laws, but we are working on this aspect and have progressed so much that since 2006 we began to apply electoral sanctions.”
“The CNE has received over 300 cases for this process since 2009, of which we have responded to over 250, and corresponding administrative investigations have been opened to resolve them,” Lucena explained.
Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN), Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / February 13, 2009