What Happened in #Bolivia’s 2019 Vote Count? - Center for Economic and Policy Research
On October 20, 2019, Bolivia held presidential and parliamentary elections. Nine presidential candidates competed in the presidential election. However, well before the electoral campaign began, polling indicated that the election was likely to be a two-way race between incumbent president #Evo_Morales of the Movimiento al Socialismo (#MAS-IPSP), and former president Carlos Mesa of Comunidad Ciudadana (CC).
There are potentially two rounds in Bolivia’s presidential elections. A candidate receiving either more than 50 percent of the vote, or at least 40 percent with a 10 percentage point lead over the runner-up in the first round, is declared the winner. If no candidate meets either of these requirements, the two candidates with the most votes must face each other in a runoff election.
On October 25, Bolivia’s electoral authority, the Tribunal Supremo Electoral, or TSE, published the final official election results. Morales had obtained 2,889,359 votes, or 47.08 percent, to Mesa’s 2,240,920 votes, or 36.51 percent. Morales’s 648,439-vote lead gave him a 10.5 percentage point margin and therefore a first-round victory without the need for a runoff.
The MAS-IPSP also won a majority in the legislative elections. Though the MAS-IPSP lost seats in both houses, the party held on to a majority of 68 seats out of 130 in the lower house, and 21 out of 36 seats in the senate.
An Electoral Observation Mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) was sent to observe the elections. 1.
According to the OAS, the mission was “composed of 92 observers, who [were to be] deployed in the 9 departments of the country to observe the process in all of its stages and throughout the country.”
The following #paper analyzes the election results and finds that:
The results from the quick count for the first 83.85 percent of the vote count are consistent with a final projected result of Morales winning the election outright with a more than 10 percentage point victory;
Neither the OAS mission nor any other party has demonstrated that there were widespread or systematic irregularities in the elections of October 20, 2019;
Neither the quick count nor the official count exhibit significant changes in voting trends in the final results; rather, the same well-known trend, explainable by differences in voter preferences in different geographical areas, is evident in both counts;
The legally binding vote count — the official count — did not stop for any significant period of time;
It is unclear how the OAS mission’s objections regarding the quick count would affect the official count.
validé par des chercheurs au MIT:
“The researchers’ work did not address many of the allegations mentioned in the O.A.S. report, including the accusation that Bolivian officials maintained hidden servers that could have permitted the alteration of results.
Instead, the researchers examined one allegation made by O.A.S. auditors: that differences in results reported before and after a pause in the initial vote count pointed to evidence of fraud in favor of Mr. Morales.
O.A.S. officials called a sudden change in the voting trend in Mr. Morales’s favor “statistically unlikely.”
But the researchers concluded that such a change was entirely plausible. “There does not seem to be a statistically significant difference in the margin before and after the halt of the preliminary vote,” they wrote.
They pointed out that voting trends often shift as votes are counted. In the United States, for example, votes that come in after Election Day tend to favor Democratic candidates.
The fraud claims have been central to a debate about whether Mr. Morales should be able to return to political life in Bolivia — and whether his party, Movement Toward Socialism, should get another shot at national leadership.
In early May, Bolivians will vote again for a new president. Mr. Morales can’t run; he is in exile in Argentina and faces criminal charges at home. But his candidate, Luis Arce, is leading in the polls.
In an email, Mr. Curiel called for further analysis of the fraud claims, noting that the O.A.S. came to its conclusions “on a quick turnaround,” just days after the election.”