For Immediate Release
Dan Beeton, 202-256-6116
Recount and Review of Haiti’s Election Tally Shows Massive Irregularities
Election Outcome In Doubt
WASHINGTON - An independent recount and
review of 11,171 tally sheets from Haiti’s November 28 election shows
that the outcome of the election is indeterminate. The review,
conducted by the Center
for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), found massive
irregularities and errors in the tally. A report detailing the
recount’s findings, and methodology, will be made available next week.
“With so many irregularities, errors, and fraudulent vote totals, it is
impossible to say what the results of this election really are,” said Mark
Weisbrot, economist and CEPR Co-Director.
“If the Organization of American States certifies this election, this
would be a political decision, having nothing to do with election
monitoring,” said Weisbrot. “They would lose all credibility as a
neutral election-monitoring organization.”
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Among the preliminary findings:
- While OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin
was quoted by the Associated Press as saying
that “Nearly 4 percent of polling place tally sheets used to calculate
the results were thrown out for alleged fraud at the tabulation
center,” the actual number is closer to 12 percent. CEPR found that
11.9 percent (1,324) of the tally sheets were either never received by
the CEP (Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council) or were quarantined by
the CEP due to irregularities. These tally sheets added up to more
than 15 percent of the total votes counted.
- In addition to the 11.9 percent of tally sheets not
counted by the CEP, CEPR found that 6.4 percent of the tally sheets
were irregular. These tally sheets contained vote counts that were so
far outside the distribution of votes that they would not be considered
valid. If we add these to the tally sheets not counted by the CEP,
there are more than 18 percent of tally sheets – representing more than
22 percent of votes counted -- that are invalid.
- In addition, there were widespread clerical errors –
mis-recorded numbers – on the tally sheets: 5.4 percent of tally sheets
had numbers that were obvious clerical errors. Although these errors
did not necessarily affect the distribution of votes among the
candidates, they add another element of uncertainty to the vote count.
It is clear that with so many mistakes in recorded totals in the tally
sheets, there would have to be errors in the candidate vote counts in
addition to those that CEPR detected.
- Turnout was extremely low: an estimated 22.3 percent
of the electorate participated, as compared with 59.3 percent in the
last (2006) presidential election. This was partly due to the fact that
more than 12 political parties were arbitrarily excluded from
participating in the election, including the country’s most popular
- Internally displaced people (IDP’s), who have been
made homeless by the earthquake, were especially disenfranchised. In
the cities of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Delmas and Petionville – which
contain 20 percent of Haiti’s registered voters – the average
participation rate was just 12.4 percent (11.25 percent if we remove
additional irregular tally sheets).
“This election was of questionable legitimacy to begin
with because the electoral authorities banned over a dozen political
parties, including the country’s most popular political party,” said
Weisbrot. “But with this massive level of irregularity, fraud, and
disenfranchisement, it can hardly be considered a legitimate election.”
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The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.