There have been warnings from the so-called alternative opposition in Venezuela, groups outside of the established politics, alleging that the voter rolls are inflated with zombie voters, or “votantes fantasmas” as they are called in Spanish. Millions of them. Now after the election it has been proven, as this video shows. I’ve tried it out myself before cne.gov.ve shut down the service yesterday. It’s true. The same physical person (name, birthdate, address) appears two times with different ID numbers, voting at the same polling place but at different tables. Maybe we should call it “shadow voters,” as in both the person and his or her shadow will cast a vote. Based on the prior estimates of the number of these shadow voters, this can have increased the vote for Chávez by about 2 million. Remove them and Capriles would have won handily.
Another – and unexpected – method of fraud has now also been denounced. It was unexpected because it is so brazen; it requires the cooperation of thousands of election technicians. Voting is electronic in Venezuela, so there has to be technicians to manage the voting computers. At the end of the election day, these computers are sending data to a central location for summing the results up. The fraud was executed, according to these technicians, by changing the figures in the computers before transmitting them, and – obviously – before printing the reports that are signed by the poll workers. It was possible by giving all the technicians the usernames and passwords of people with the highest access level, something that was provided by SEBIN (the political police) on the election day morning. The technicians were made to cooperate by bribing them, and if that didn’t work, by taking their families hostage, says the document, and backs up its credibility by providing URLs, user names, passwords, and access codes to the entire Venezuelan election system. (Several of the computers are apparently blocked from access from abroad, but were online yesterday for access from within Venezuela.)
A source on the ground has told me that at his voting table, there were 250 persons that he knows to be supporters of Capriles who voted, yet Capriles only got about 150 votes according to the computer. This observation is consistent with the method of election fraud that the CNE whistleblower technicians allege, and adds to their credibility.
The fact that there has been fraud is in plain view. All you have to do is to look at this map of the result (from El Nuevo Herald). It has the western state of Zulia in red, but that state is the stronghold of the anti-Chávez opposition. The fraud is so blatant that people understand it took place even though the opposition candidate himself says that “we have found no evidence of fraud.” He is obviously being disingenuous. Why? I don’t know, but I do know that it is typical of electoral dictatorships, where the opposition is in a dependent situation in relation to the regime. It’s a case of the Stockholm syndrome.