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Electoral System Ready for September 26 Parliamentary Elections

The electoral system – including voting machines and voting centers – that will be used during the upcoming September 26 parliamentary elections in Venezuela is completely ready, said Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), on Sunday.

“The electoral system is ready for the upcoming September 26 electoral process,” said Lucena during an interview broadcast by the state-run station VTV. She noted that the mock election carried out on August 22 allowed for the completion of the final technical details to make the system available for the electoral process.

Once elections have concluded, the CNE has the duty of auditing 54.3 percent of voting machines used. The CNE director stated that the institution will activate more than 37,000 polling places for this upcoming electoral process, “because we are always looking for the best way to ensure that the electoral process is as broad in scope as possible.”

Lucena urged the Venezuela electorate to be informed about the candidates for the National Assembly and the Latin American Parliament by attending one of the 1,500 electoral fairs the Electoral Council has established nationwide. The so-called “electoral fairs” are points installed throughout the country to inform the Venezuelan population about coming elections and the polling process.

“If people know the position of their favorite candidate on the ballot, they can vote in a few seconds. But if people do not know the position of their candidates, they may take longer. However, the overall voting time before the voting machine lasts about 25 or 30 seconds,” Lucena explained.

Furthermore, Lucena informed that during the first four days of the electoral campaign the pro-opposition political parties have accounted for 75.4 percent of the advertisements broadcast by national TV stations.

She pointed out that from August 25, when the electoral campaign began, to noon on August 28, a media analysis was carried out to check the performance of media during the electoral campaign. As a result, pro-opposition candidates were shown to have a great percentage of propaganda on the Venezuelan TV stations.

Lucena explained that after the analysis, it was concluded that the current percentage participation is the following: “The opposition has 75.4 percent of the ads, reaching 73.8 percent of air-time, while the pro-Chávez candidates have 24.6 percent of the ads, reaching 26.2 percent of the air-time”.

AVN/Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./August 30, 2010

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