Sunday, 23 November 2008

How Chavismo works

The vote in Venezuela is now electronic. As a software developer I know binaries are basically a black box, no matter what sociologists working with the Carter Centre think and how many time they "test" them. The Dutch have stopped using their own electronic system because it was not deemed secure enough, even if there was no proof of fraud.

As long as you are not the one who compiled the executable files, there is no way for you to be sure what is going to happen with the stuff (unless you really manage to reverse engineer the whole thing and get back the source code).

What news are we getting? Well, in Venezuela there is a paper trail apart from the electronic vote: you vote on a computer and get a printed voucher of what you voted for and then you put it in a box. That is supposed to make things better.
Now, about 51% of the boxes are supposed to be audited afterward. That was not done in December's referendum: Chavez's National Electoral Council left 10% of the votes out and unaccounted for. They said the trend was already clear, even if the difference was 1% for us. I said at that time: it is a shame for the opposition parties who did not insist in auditing everything. That would come to haunt us.

Well, now El Carabobeno and friends of mine are reporting that people are going to vote, press the button for the opposition, the machine seems to be registering "Salas Feo" (the opposition candidate for Carabobo) but they get a piece of paper (what is going to be audited) that is for Mario Silva, the PSUV candidate. You can still see the link today here (mind: the link is provisional).

El Universal is reporting how the government is doing propaganda even now, on election day, which is forbidden, they are using caravans to call up people to vote and they are taking people from the slums to vote (I wonder if they are now threatening some of them with a false "we know the vote intention", as they know more and more people from the slums are turning their back to Chavismo).

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