Carter Center, OAS certify Referendum results
Caracas, August 21, 2004.- The Carter Center today announced the final certification of the results of Venezuela's Presidential Recall Referendum. A technical audit of 150 voting tables (containing 334 voting machines), conducted by international observers from the Carter Center and Organization of American States, showed that Smartmatic's tally of the referendum results was 99.98% accurate.
In a press conference, Cesar Gaviria, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), and Jennifer McCoy, Director of the Americas Program at the Carter Center, asserted that the completion of the audit left no doubt about the security and accuracy of the electronic voting system or the results announced by the National Electoral Commission.
"The people of Venezuela can have confidence in their electoral system and be assured that the electronic voting machines reflected the will of the Venezuelan voter," said Ms. McCoy.
"The results obtained by the audit are totally compatible with the results presented by the National Electoral Commission," added Mr. Gaviria.
The audit consisted of a random selection of 150 of the more than 12,000 voting tables. Results from 334 voting machines were tested. Vote summaries from each machine were compared to the paper ballot "receipts" printed by the machines and stored in ballot boxes that were guarded by the Venezuelan Military. These results were also compared to the vote summaries received by the National Tally Center.
The audit, planned and conducted by technicians from the Carter Center and the OAS, was designed to respond to denunciations made by the opposition Democratic Coordinator. The Democratic Coordinator elected not to take part in the audit.
"This audit responds to all of the legitimate complaints presented by the Democratic Coordinator. And the results should be sufficient to alleviate any remaining doubts they might have," said President Jimmy Carter, President of the Carter Center.
The completion of the audit, and the confirmation of the electronic voting system's accuracy, allowed Jorge Rodriguez, President of the National Electoral Commission, to close the book on the Presidential Recall Referendum.
Asked about the 0.02% discrepancy in the results, Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said, "Surely some Venezuelan voters preferred to take their votes home with them rather than put them in the ballot boxes."
Smartmatic is a multinational company that specializes in the design and end-to-end deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions. With an unsurpassed technology base, continuous innovation, and quality in processes and results, Smartmatic is organized around three business areas: Electronic voting systems, intelligent and integrated security systems for large enterprises and governments, and advanced solutions for people registration and authentication for a wide range of government applications.
Smartmatic is a privately held company with offices in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Barbados, Spain, Philippines and Taiwan. It has more than 200 employees worldwide. Its capacity for innovation and wide range of products and services have earned Smartmatic extensive recognition in the technology community worldwide.