Carter Center: Optimal operation of the voting system guaranteed peaceful voting in Venezuela

Caracas, March 7th 2013.- “The Venezuelan voting system has been the most solid component of the electoral process. The current system, used in the last 5 national elections, has consistently safeguarded the integrity of the automated voting process”. This is one of the conclusions in the final report on the October 7th, 2012 Venezuelan Presidential Elections, prepared by the Carter Center’s Study Mission.

The text also explains that “in all these processes, both the opposition and the government have won and lost; and both have accepted the results”. The authors also add that those political parties which participated in the Presidential Elections agreed that the voting system provided by Smartmatic worked satisfactorily, “giving voters the chance to peacefully exercise their right to vote”.

The report by the Carter Center, an NGO focused on world peace, also stated that technicians from the political parties and groups of national observers participated in all the tests to the automated system, as well as in the citizen audit which took place right after the polls closed. “Audits to the hardware, the software and the fingerprint databases were included in what constitutes the most open process to date”, according to the opposition’s technical experts. Once more, the Carter Center mission highlighted that the Venezuelan voting system is among the most automated in the world, since it includes all the steps of the process: candidate registration, biometric identification of voters, voting with touchscreen machines, the electronic transmission of the results and their totalling.

The document also emphasizes the high voter turnout during the Venezuelan Presidential Elections, which surpassed 80% of registered voters.