A former leftwing guerrilla leader took a strong early lead in El Salvador’s presidential election on Sunday but he could still face a run-off against a conservative rival who wants to deploy the army to fight powerful street gangs, early results showed. Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a rebel commander who rose to the top of the now-ruling leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) during El Salvador’s civil war, had 49.2% support with votes in from about 45.4% of polling booths. His rightwing opponent, former San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano, had 38.9%. If no one wins more than half of the vote, the two leading candidates will go to a run-off on March 9.
Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.
Salvadorans vote Sunday in a presidential election that may give former leftist rebels a second chance at government — or return national leadership to the right-wing party that ruled the country for two decades. Opinion surveys have shown an extremely tight race, especially with the entrance of a new third party run by a former conservative president with family members tied to notorious corruption cases. More than 20 years after the end of a civil war in which more than 75,000 people were killed, choices remain stark in El Salvador. When the left won the presidency in 2009 for the first time in modern Salvadoran history, there were high expectations about change and progressive policies after a generation of conservative rule. But many Salvadorans now express disappointment in a country where international drug trafficking has made great inroads, gangs control entire neighborhoods, and economic growth has plummeted.
Political campaign messages disappeared from mass media at midnight Wednesday, the official start of an electoral campaign ban ordered by Costa Rica’s Electoral Code. The law stipulates that all paid messages must be suspended three days before Election Day and during Sunday’s vote. The ban includes airing or printing of paid propaganda in newspapers, radio, television and on the Web. However, during the 2010 elections the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) ruled that in the case of Internet messages, the restriction only applies to the online publication of paid ads or banners, meaning candidates are allowed to post messages in free platforms such as social networks.
It took years for El Salvador’s legislative system to give Salvadorans living abroad the right to vote by mail in national elections. The law was passed last year, and on Sunday, Feb. 2, the country’s expats will participate for the first time in a presidential election. But the process hasn’t been going as smoothly as some had hoped, with many frustrated by a process they say was rolled out too late, with poor planning and little time for hopeful voters to follow through. Tito Rivera, a Los Angeles restaurant owner, said he registered to vote in the election months ago. But with the election just days away, he still hadn’t received his voter packet. “Most likely I’m not going to vote,” Rivera said. “That’s what going to happen. Because if I don’t send that in time…it’s not going to count. I’m disappointed, because we’ve been fighting for that a long time.”
Newmarket will take paper over getting plugged in during October’s municipal election. Council rejected a staff recommendation that called on the municipality to authorize the use of Internet voting in time for the election, meaning traditional paper ballots will be used, instead of the online method. ”I don’t think the confidence of the community is there yet,” Mayor Tony Van Bynen said. Councillors want the issue addressed early in the next term, giving plenty of time for implementation in the 2018 election.
Toronto is working on a system to let people with disabilities vote over the Internet, but members of the disabled community are urging the city to provide that option to all eligible voters. “There’s no reason to create a system just for people with disabilities,” said John Rae, a board member of ARCH Disability Law Centre. “If we’re going to start Internet voting, it should be available to all citizens,” said Rae, who is blind. … While increasing participation is a worthy goal, Councillor David Shiner said he’s concerned about voter fraud. “The concern with Internet voting is knowing who’s really on the other end,” said Shiner. “I’m really concerned about abuses.” Shiner doesn’t think traditional voting at a polling place isn’t that onerous since it’s usually only a short walk. “Making a small effort to get out to a polling station isn’t too much to ask,” said Shiner, chair of council’s government management committee.
Voters in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario will still head to the polls in October to vote rather than pull out their smart phones or laptops. Some votes may have switched Monday night as councilors debated a plan to head towards voting on the Web this fall. There would have been two-regular polling places but most voters would have used their computer systems.
Over 82% of the 12,654 Costa Ricans registered to vote abroad in the elections on February 2 may use a new electronic voting system, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced today. Electronic voting, which will be implemented for the first time in Costa Rica presidential elections, is a pilot plan that can be used at the consulates of 31 countries with more than 50 people registered in each. TSE President, Luis Antonio Sobrado, said at a press conference that the voting and the use of electronic voting is “the most important of the major innovations for the elections.” Each voter will have the opportunity to choose the electronic ballot, which includes the option to vote on a touch screen computer.
Honduras: Anatomy of Election Fraud: Stealing the 2013 Honduran Election in Five Simple Steps | FPIF
After a heavily contested election, Honduras has a new president-elect. The director of the Honduran Electoral Tribunal, David Matamoros, made it so on December 12 when he announced that conservative candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez led the vote count and that his lead was “irreversible.” The bold announcement from Matamoros came after opposition parties launched a barrage of complaints arguing that fraud, violence, and inconsistencies had marred the electoral process significantly enough to affect the final tally. Throngs of supporters of the LIBRE and Anti-Corruption parties marched in the streets to protest the results. After the late November election, popular pressure was intense enough that Matamoros himself stood awkwardly before cameras and announced a vote re-count. But, as so often happens in Honduras, political expediency overtook any pretense of fairness, and Matamoros returned a few days later to announce the final results—recount be damned. The deal was quickly sealed by congratulatory statements, delivered as if on cue, by OAS Chief Jose Manuel Insulza and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The High Electoral Court (TSE) of Honduras reconfirmed Wednesday that Juan Orlando Hernandez of the governing National Party won the Nov. 24 presidential election and is president-elect despite a complaint filed by the opposition Freedom and Refounding (Libre) party. The TSE “declares … Juan Orlando Hernandez to be elected as constitutional president of the Republic of Honduras for a period of four years starting Jan. 27, 2014,” according to the ruling read Wednesday by the president of the body, David Matamoros. In addition, it declared Ricardo Alvarez, Roxana Guevara and Lorena Herrera to be the country’s three vice presidents-elect.