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#3007: Electoral Issues (fwd)


Unofficial & Incomplete list of points raised thus far during electoral 

"An election without electoral cards equals an electoral coup."

Statement on March 21, 2000 by Electoral Council member Carlos Dupiton that 
the Electoral Council chose a new election date (April 9) under pressure by 
political parties and their candidates without first properly addressing 
issues that had to be considered.

The electoral council failed to provide a list of all voter registration 

1997 elections had 10,000 registration offices as opposed to recent 3,500 
offices, most of which were closed or had lack of materials to make electoral 
cards.  Major neighborhoods, particularly popular areas, were without any 
registration offices.  

"Many areas in country under served including popular areas."

"Electoral Council botched the organization of the delivery of cameras, film, 
and lamination materials necessary to produce voter registration cards. Many 
offices ran out of materials weeks before registration was closed."

"Administrative chaos in the registration process."

Electoral Council failed to properly train its registration workers and has 
yet to train other electoral workers necessary for elections.

Long lines for voter registration were result of problems with lack of 
materials and poor or no training of electoral workers.

The Electoral Council administratively incompetent.

Many people eager to register to vote were unable to locate voter 
registration offices.

The Electoral Council lost 200 voter registration books (equaling 80,000 
registrants) from the Artibonite region.  

The electoral council failed to submit a list of all electoral employees 
(BIV, BEC, BED) resulting in failure to pay its employees and threatened 

Electoral materials missing

Contradictory statements by Electoral Council members on same day

There needs to be more time to ensure that all eligible Haitians have had an 
opportunity to obtain a registration card.

Issue of whether all registered voters' names will be entered into computer 
prior to elections as a means to avoid fraud.  Electoral Council member 
Carlos Dupiton estimated that this task would take 4 months to complete.

Electoral Council statements were inconsistent in terms of how many people 
actually registered to vote versus have many voter registration cards 
actually entered the country.

Question of how many people are actually eligible to vote.  This was the 
point raised by a Canadian electoral consultant to the Electoral Council who 
said that the figure the Electoral Council was using was way too low and had 
originated from 1987 figures. 

Poor planning by Electoral Council resulted in late opening of limited number 
of voter registration offices.

Popular perception and outcry that there is a deliberate plan to limit voter 
participation particularly in countryside and poor urban neighborhoods with 
the countryside having the worst shortage of offices.

Claims that during one time 90% of all voter registration offices in the 
Artibonite Valley were closed because of lack of materials -- mostly film.

>From the beginning Fanmi Lavalas and other popular organizations and 
political parties raised objections and predicted that the new requirement of 
photo ID voter cards would result in technical and logistical problems which 
would serve as major obstacle to popular participation.

IFES and US have contradicted each other causing confusing messages to the 
Haitian people.  For example IFES stated in its materials that "In IFES' 
opinion, restructuring the election calendar for legitimate technical reasons 
is sound justification; it is better to change the election date [March 19] 
rather than compromise the integrity of the process."  USAID later denied 
that this was the official position of IFES.  

Many groups saying now it's not possible to legitimately have elections in 
April due to wide range of problems.  

Insecurity is other concern being raised.