Thursday, May 25, 2017

Innumerecy in the Tribunal Supremo Electoral

The Honduran Tribunal Supremo Electoral announced today that there were 6.2 million registered voters for the presidential elections to be held this November.  The problem is, there can't be.

Depending on who you want to believe, the Honduran population is, this year, 8.2 to 8.8 million individuals.  In Honduras, you must be 18 to vote.  So the question is, what percentage of the Honduran population is under 18?  That number turns out to be 42% of the Honduran population. 

6.2 million registered voters equates to about 72% of the current Honduran population.  So the question is, what percentage of the Honduran population is under 18 and therefore cannot register to vote?  That number is about 42% so Honduran demographics means the TSE election rolls are heavily inflated. 

There are about 14% more registered voters than there should be according to demographics.  That is, if 42% of the Honduran population is under 18 years of age and therefore not eligible to be a registered voter, then at most 58% of the population is eligible to be registered to vote, a total of 5.104 million voters, not the 6.2 million the TSE is claiming.  Thats 1.096 million extra voters enrolled that simply cannot not exist.  Yet they apparently do exist on the voter rolls.

But actually its worse, because the 0.2 percent of the Honduran population that's in prison either convicted of or awaiting a trial, cannot vote.  There are no polling places in prison.  A further 0.14 percent of the Honduran population is in active military service, and also not allowed to vote.  The Honduran military aid the TSE by distributing ballot boxes before the election, and collecting and returning them to the TSE.

This excess of 1.096 million voters has built up over the last several years, and at least in part is because the TSE is notoriously bad at its job of cleaning up the voter roles in between elections.  The dead are seldom removed from the voter rolls, and indeed, in nearly every election since 2005 political parties in Honduras have demonstrated that people known to be dead nonetheless somehow managed to vote in presidential elections of 2009 and 2013, votes certified as fair and transparent by the US State Department.

So it would be good if the TSE learned to count and did a better job of keeping up the voting rolls, because some of us can count, even if the President of the TSE, David Matamoros, can't.

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