Frequently Asked Questions about the election >
1. Why will Venezuela have a new presidential election?
Due to the permanent absence of the President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council called for a new presidential election for the 2013-2019 term.
2. When will the election take place?
The Venezuelan Electoral Power called for a presidential election to be held on April 14th, 2013. The country's Constitution states that in cases of permanent absence of the President, a new election must be carried out in 30 days.
3. Who are the candidates?
María Bolívar, Henrique Capriles, Nicolás Maduro, Eusebio Méndez, Julio Mora, Reina Sequera and Fredy Tabarquino are the seven candidates who will be running.
4. Will Venezuelans abroad be able to vote?
Yes. This election will use the same electoral roster that was in force for the October 7th 2012 Presidential Election. 18,903,143 Venezuelans are accredited to vote, 100,495 of which are registered abroad.
5. Can Smartmatic execute an election in the time frame established by the National Electoral Council?
Certainly. As the integrator of the Venezuelan electoral system as a whole, comprising both its technology and electoral services, Smartmatic will deploy for the 12th time its automated platform across the country. In a record time of less than 40 days the company will achieve the correct configuration of the system, so that it can be used by Venezuelan voters within the timeframe established by the Law and by the National Electoral Council (CNE). Venezuela, together with Smartmatic, is setting 3 world records: in 2004 the country carried out the world's first nationwide automated election using voting machines with printed vouchers; in 2012, it held the first election during which voting sessions were activated through biometric authentication; and in 2013, Smartmatic's technology is being deployed in a record time of 34 days to automate a presidential election.
6. Has Smartmatic already prepared the logistics for this election?
Yes. Smartmatic's technical staff will be distributed as follows: 43,448 operators of the Integrated Voting System (OSI), 6,317 support technicians (TS-SI), 1,098 operators for the Contingency Transmission Centres (OCTC), 21,436 operators of the Voter Information System (OSIE), 3,365 Voter Information System (SIE) support technicians (TS-SIE), 1,201 inventory operators (OI), 2 totalling technicians (TT) and 695 operators for the National Support Centre (OCNS).
7. What will be the distribution of voting machines?
In total, the CNE has set up 13,683 automated polling centres which will hold 39,018 voting machines. Overseas, 304 polling centres will operate in the 127 diplomatic offices that Venezuela has around the world, where 100,495 Venezuelans registered to vote abroad will do so manually.
8. Will the same machines used in the October 7th 2012 elections be used again?
Yes. The preferences of the Venezuelan electorate will be captured accurately by the Smartmatic-supplied electronic voting machines belonging to the National Electoral Council. 39,282 voting machines will be deployed; they feature touch screens, print voting vouchers, and operate when triggered by a biometric voter authentication system, which guarantees the "one voter, one vote" principle.
9. Will there be technical tests of the automated voting platform?
Yes. Despite the tight electoral schedule, a total of 15 technical audits to the voting platform are scheduled, which will be certified by the political parties. Additionally, after the election is over, the different political parties, international attaches and observers, and representatives of the civil society will participate in a random audit which will include 52% of the voting machines (the paper vouchers will be checked against the precinct counts).