"Casting our ballot is the only means to defend democracy"
"The CNE (National Electoral Council) will not know in real time who is voting. No way to know it"
"The candidate who gets the votes will win." Such are the most emphatic answers of Vicente Díaz, director of the National Electoral Council (CNE), when queried about the possibility of misleading the voting system or the impact of the government advantageous position denounced during the campaign on the results of the election for Venezuelan president of October 7.
He upholds that the main learning of past elections is that voters realize that vote is secret. "Whoever who voted in other elections cannot say that it turned out to be known whom he/she vote."
Is everything ready for October 7?
Everything is virtually done. There were some initial troubles with the issue of credentials. This has been corrected nationwide. It is worth noting that credentials should be furnished right away, on the training day.
On social networks it is claimed that political parties fail to accredit their witnesses.
The reality is that political parties will leave it at the very last minute. At the time of this interview, very few of them have accredited their witnesses, but all of us know that they will rush into the accreditations and they always make it. It is not at all different from prior elections. In 2010 a similar situation was reported and later a record would be smashed concerning witness participation.
According to troubleshooting, 2,000 voting machines could fail on Sunday.
Should 2,000 voting machines fail, this would be less than expected. They should not fail, but the CNE is prepared to face such a contingency and some more. What happened to the equipment in Trujillo state has nothing to do with voting machines; there were troubles with the embedded software; a previous operating system was installed. Such a mistake was timely found; the schedule was not delayed, and it was corrected.
Does any persisting technical component result in distrust in the Comprehensive Authentication System (SAI)?
Again, the SAI is a security device in addition to a system which is secure enough. I always drew a comparison of a bank with a one-meter thick steel vault, where access is impossible. However, the bank resolved to put on it a little door chain.
According to pollster Datanálisis, half voters do not think that vote is secret because of the SAI.
This is what Datanálisis says. However, we, at the CNE, have data available from other polls, very serious for that matter, where 70% of voters claim that vote is completely secret. A thorough assessment was made of the software ensuring vote secrecy. Most important, Venezuelans are aware of it. In 2005, because of the story of fingerprint-reading machines the opposition eventually left. After that election, voting followed in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 with fingerprint-reading machines. The opposition learned the lesson, but above all, voters realized that vote is secret; because no voter who has cast his/her ballot in those elections can say that it was known whom he/she vote.
No matter the quality of database, the SAI will not be able to ensure "one voter, one vote" in some polling stations.
It can prevent it because of duplicity control. For instance: Eugenio Martínez cannot vote twice in the same polling station because the system will track it and the duplicity control of database ensures your fingerprint to be only in the appropriate polling station and not anywhere else.
However, I could go to a different polling station with another voter's ID card; I could take my fingerprint only and that would not prevent me from voting again.
In that case, you could go to prison because the audit conducted after the system could find that your fingerprint appears in two polling stations and this means that you committed an offense.
Is not dangerous for the CNE to know in real time who is voting?
The CNE will not know in real time who is voting. There is no way to do it.
Are you worried about the losing candidate not to acknowledge defeat in the event of a small difference?
No. Both candidates will have the records in the hands. Just by adding these records you can match the data supplied by the CNE with the numbers on the records. There is no risk of dismissing the results.
Release of results to Havana, bogus counting centers, vote preloading in voting machines. Would you like to add any other myth to that list?
I receive two or three different tales via PIN and more than 10 via e-mail every day. Deployment of US submarines; radio-telescopes in Alaska radiating to cause rains; Russian hackers altering votes; satellites identifying whom Venezuelans voted; three million people voting in the same house in El Llanito (a residential development located in east Caracas). I must write someday a book for the history on election-related stories in Venezuela. The fact of the matter is that vote is secret; that any and all votes will be counted and the results released will express the people's will.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."