Sunday, October 07, 2012

Venezuelan voting abroad

Voting abroad can be a highly ideological issue. In Chile, for example, the right has tended to resist granting the right on the assumption that people who left the country were predominantly from the left.

For Venezuela's president election, we see the opposite. Voting abroad already is on the books, but Venezuelans abroad--or at least those in the United States--tend to be on the right. And many of them are in Miami.

The result? In January the government claimed it was too dangerous to have any consular personnel in Miami. So now Venezuelans in Miami must go to New Orleans to vote. One estimate has 7,000 of them taking buses.

The right to vote from abroad comes from the constitution and the Organic Law on Electoral Processes. Since the Chavez government could have changed these, it made me wonder whether voting abroad rights had ever been revoked in a country. From a PR perspective it would be difficult. Easier, then, just to make it more of a hassle.


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