Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Press Release

OAS Final Audit Report on Bolivia Elections Raises More Questions About Its Own Work Than It Answers, CEPR Analysis Concludes

WASHINGTON -

The Organization of American States’ final audit report on Bolivia’s October 20 elections appears intended to “justify the organization’s … unsubstantiated claims of fraud,” a preliminary analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) finds. The CEPR analysis, by Senior Research Associate Jake Johnston, constitutes CEPR’s initial review of the OAS audit report; a more complete analysis is planned for release at a later date. While the OAS report does not mention CEPR’s earlier analysis of the election results by name, it does include what are clearly intended to be references to it.

“The OAS audit report raises more questions than it answers,” Johnston said. “Not questions so much about the elections or the electoral process, but about the OAS’s trustworthiness in conducting the audit and reporting its results.”

CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot noted that the OAS Electoral Observer Mission has committed serious and puzzling errors throughout its reporting on the Bolivian election. These errors began with the first press release, the day following the election, when the mission expressed “deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results.” In fact, this change was neither drastic nor hard-to-explain, but simply a result of pro-MAS voting areas tending to report later than other voting areas.

“It’s amazing that in its fifth publication on the election, the OAS once again refused to consider the possibility that this ‘change in trend’ had a simple explanation, which can be seen in basic arithmetic analysis of the election results, as well as statistical analysis,” said Weisbrot.

CEPR’s analysis finds among the most problematic aspects of the OAS’s final audit report:
  • The OAS slightly changes its analysis, alleging the real disruption in the trend occurred over the final 5 percent of the vote processed. However, the data provided in the final audit reveal that Morales’s share of the vote actually decreased in the final 5 percent of the votes counted as compared to the 5 percent counted directly before, discrediting the OAS’s own analysis purporting to show a change in the trend.
  • The OAS performed a verification exercise meant to check the validity of the tally sheets themselves, and did not report the results of that exercise anywhere in the final audit report.
  • There is no evidence in the report that the OAS auditors cross-checked the tally sheet images posted publicly online with any of the copies of the physical tally sheets that are provided to political parties, notaries, and local electoral officials on the day of the vote.

CEPR’s preliminary analysis also notes a troubling lack of transparency in the OAS's methodology: “the auditors note that 894 tally sheets, out of a statistical sample of 2,863, were analyzed in order to cross-check with original electoral material.” No reason is given for why these particular 894 tally sheets were chosen.

The CEPR briefing notes that the OAS audit is decontextualizing the evidence that they do provide, burying results that run contrary to their stated findings, and concealing evidence that they almost certainly have but do not report .... The final audit report is an attempt to mislead the public and justify the organization’s — and its outspoken secretary general, Luis Almagro’s — unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the October 20 election in Bolivia.

###

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.

'All You Have to Do Is Follow the Money': Ilhan Omar Rebukes Corporate Democrats

"It is corporate greed, and the lawmakers who serve them," argues the Minnesota Democrat, "who are betraying the values of our party and the American people."

Jon Queally ·


'Outrageous and Shameful': Dems May Cut Paid Leave Due to Manchin's Opposition

Decrying the plan, advocacy groups vowed that "the American people are not going to allow that essential human need to be ignored and negotiated away behind closed doors."

Jessica Corbett ·


Open Letter Warns Trump's 'Big Lie' GOP Poses Existential Threat to Democracy

"Now is the time for leaders in all walks of life—for citizens of all political backgrounds and persuasions—to come to the aid of the republic."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ahead of Historic House Hearing, Fresh Big Oil Misinformation Campaign Exposed

"It's always helpful to remember that big fossil fuel companies (besides being overwhelmingly responsible for carbon pollution) are also skeevy disinformation hucksters."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Very Welcome' Progress as Iran Agrees to Restart Talks on Nuclear Deal Sabotaged by Trump

One peace advocate urged all sides to reconvene negotiations "as soon as possible and with renewed urgency" to avert "disastrous" consequences for Iran and the world.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo