Commission of Verification at work
May, 20, 2016 - The chairman of the Election Commission of Verification, François Benoit as well as Several members of the Scientific and Technical Police were present at the Vote Tabulation Centre (CTV) to verify signatures and fingerprints of a sample of voters. The Evaluation Commission has 30 days to accomplish this their mission.
In last April, on 28th, the interim President Jocelerme Privert installed an Independent Commission for Electoral Evaluation and Verification (CIEVE) with the objectives of reviewing previous election results and electoral court decisions, before moving forward with the unfinished election. It was decided that the commission would conduct a random sample survey of 25% of the roughly 13,000 tally sheets collected from the polling stations.
The submitted Report of such Independent Commission on May 30, 2016, audited by a five-member panel, led by a businessman, Francois Benoit, who is a former ambassador to the U.S, shows that out of the total valid votes of 1,560,631 about 29% or 448,000 voters were untraceable, because they did not fill the required "procès-verbal de carence" which were meant to be filled by the representatives of political parties and election observers who were on duty, entitled to cast votes at the polling stations where they were engaged other than where they were registered to vote. The number of fake CIN numbers (as per National Identification Card) written by hands was 180,250 or 16.2% of the vote cast, because the signatures or fingerprints recorded at the voting centers do not match with the records on the CIN cards. For the 1,112,600 traceable votes, 180,250 were with fake CIN, making a total of 628,000 (448,000 + 180,250) untraceable votes or 40% of total valid votes (1,560,631).
The commission has further observed that often number of untraceable votes in the polling stations have surpassed the legitimate votes. The commission has noticed that number of untraceable votes received by the first-place candidate, according to the results of the CEP, was higher than the total number of such votes received by the second- and third-place candidates and it was higher than the difference between the first- and fifth-place candidates. The CIEVE has recommended rejecting the last year's first-round presidential election because it appeared to be tainted by fraud. As per Benoit, it appeared that electoral fraud was masterminded at a "high level."
However, the final decision whether to redo the election will have to be made by a reconfigured Provisional Electoral Council.