Monday, April 29, 2013

Audit Dispute in Venezuela

Henrique Capriles is mad about the audit, saying it is insufficient because it won't include examination of voter signatures and fingerprints. The government's response has several dimensions.

First, you are asking for something without evidence it is needed.

Second, even if we did what you wanted, the election outcome would not change.

Third, since we have the best system for going back over votes, there is no need to do so.

I previously argued that simply doing the audit would constitute enough of a concession that it would take the air out of the opposition. That could still be the case. But the government does itself no favors by saying the vote could never change, accusing Capriles of murder, and calling him a fascist (which is frequent to the point of being funny).

What matters now are perceptions. If the opposition successfully mobilizes, it will occur in no small part because of the government's aggressive reactions. Looking conciliatory would make it more difficult for Capriles and other opposition leaders to sustain the level of outrage necessary to mobilize.

UPDATE: here is the CNE's official response.


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