Sunday, March 11, 2012

The vote in El Salvador

The polls are closed in El Salvador.   Now the vote count starts.  You can see the preliminary vote results at the TSE web site at:  In one aspect of transparency of the Salvadoran electoral process, you can drill down in the results all the way to individual voting tables.


I am not in El Salvador for this election, but I've been monitoring the press and social media, and here are some initial comments on this election day.   In general, it seems to be a good day for Salvadoran democracy.   Not without problems, and not without some controversies, but generally voting seemed to proceed as intended.   For a good English language overview from El Salvador, read this post at El Salvador from the Inside.

The morning opened with delays in opening some polling centers.   There was plenty of encouragement for people to get out and vote.   Some restaurants and stores were offering discounts if you came in and showed your figure stained with the indelible ink which was proof of voting.

The most serious problems were suspension of voting at two locations. Out of 1148 voting centers, there were two locations where voting was suspended: San Lorenzo, Ahuachapán and San Miguel Tepezontes, La Paz.    In addition, ARENA reportedly pulled its officials from three other voting centers alleging the existence of fraud, but voting continued at those locations.

We'll have to wait for turnout figures, but looking at some unofficial reports, it will be something greater than 50% of eligible voters.

Human Rights Ombudsman Oscar Luna indicated that most of the complaints his office was receiving related to people not being permitted to vote because they had an expired or changed national identification card (DUI).

The Director of the Public Opinion Institute at the University of Central America affirmed that in her view the elections were proceeding normally and without complications, depsite the fact that many voters did not know about the new format for voting for deputies.

One of the items of speculation during the day are the intentions of Tony Saca, who was president of El Salvador from 2004-2009.   El Faro interviewed him after he voted today, and while he expressed satisfaction with the progress of democracy in the country, he was not divulging his plans for the 2014 presidential election.

For a pictorial look at the elections in one municipality, Santiago Texacuangos, take a look at these  photos from CEIBA.

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