Elections in Venezuela

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An unofficial plebiscite was held to oppose the end of democracy. The vote for a constitutional convention to re-write overthrow the current constitution has been held, with uncertainty as to the actual turnout.

7/15/17 – Reuters – Venezuela opposition hold unofficial plebiscite to defy Maduro – The opposition holds an unofficial vote on 7/16 as a protest against the upcoming official vote which many consider to be the last votes ever in Venezuela as a new constitution will essentially put the legislature under the thumb of the president.

7/17/17 – Associated Press – Maduro foes: Over 7 million vote in Venezuelan referendum – Tally in the protest balloting shows about 7.19 million people voted to protest the move to dictatorship. Opposition had hoped to get above 7.5M votes, since that would be more than the official votes in favor of the current president in the last election.

That is a really high goal considering there was no public visibility or media attention to the protest vote.

In a country of 31.1M people, an opposition vote of 7.2M is quite impressive.

Particularly in light of election day violence focused on voters – colectivos, the government sponsored and government armed vigilante gangs, killed 1 woman and wounded 4 others with gunfire at one balloting place.

7/31/17 – Wall Street Journal- Venezuela Says Over 8 Million Voted to Redraft Constitution, but Count Is Disputed – The government claimed 8M people out of 19M registered voters approved the delegates who will draft a new constitution, for which the expected end result is an end to democracy in Venezuela.

That is only slightly more that the 7.5M who  participated in the protest vote.

There were no official poll watchers present. The WSJ reporters say the claims of a huge turnout are contrary to the short lines or empty polling places they observed.

8/2/17 – Reuters – Venezuelan election turnout figures manipulated by one million votes: election company – A company that provides electronic voting systems looked at the results of the Venezuelan election to call a constitutional convention and determined that only 3.7M people voted on Sunday, in sharp contrast to the 8.1M votes claimed by the government.

In case further evidence was actually needed by anyone, that is further proof the election was an invalid sham.

Oh, that would make for an overstatement of the turnout something in the range of 4.4.M votes. That is far larger than the 1M mentioned in the headline. I think the headline writer ought to read the articles a bit more carefully.

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