The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Haiti Election Recount Report Reveals Massive Irregularities Beyond Those Noticed by the OAS and CEP

“Impossible to determine who should advance to a second round”


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 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

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.

(202) 293-5380