The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has released the full report of its independent recount of vote tally sheets from Haiti’s November 28 election, highlights from which were first presented in a December 30 press release.
“The amount of votes not counted or counted wrong in this election is huge – much larger than has been reported by either the Organization of American States or the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP),” CEPR Co-Director, and co-author of the report, Mark Weisbrot stated. “I don’t see how any professional observers could legitimately certify this election result.”
The report, “Haiti’s Fatally Flawed Election”, finds that:
· Based on the numbers of irregularities, it is impossible to determine who should advance to a second round. If there is a second round, it will be based on arbitrary assumptions and/or exclusions.
· For some 1,326 voting booths, or 11.9 percent of the total, tally sheets were either never received by the CEP or were quarantined for irregularities. This corresponds to about 156,000 votes, or 12.7 percent of the vote, which was not counted and is not included in the final totals that were released by the CEP on December 7, 2010 and reported by the press. This is an enormous amount of votes discounted, by any measure, and especially in an election in which the difference between the second and third place finisher – which determines who will participate in the run-off election – was just 0.6 percent of the vote.
· Many more tally sheets that had irregularities in the vote totals that were sufficient to disqualify them. For 8.4 percent of the tally sheets – involving more than 13 percent of the vote — there were vote totals for the major candidates that would be expected to occur by chance less than one percent of the time. That most of these implausible vote totals were due to errors or fraud, is supported by the large number of clerical errors found on the tally sheets – over 5 percent of these –which the study did not count as irregular.
· The participation rate was extremely low, with just 22.9 percent of registered voters having their vote counted. As a comparison, presidential elections in 2006 saw a participation rate of 59.3 percent.
The report also notes the greatest flaws in the electoral process occurred before election day: the banning of over a dozen political parties from the ballot (including the most popular party), and the “gargantuan task” of attempting to register 1.5 million internally displaced persons – a task that clearly was a resounding failure.