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What on earth happened in the Honduran elections?

What on earth happened in the Honduran elections?

President Hernández won re-election according to the official result. However, reports by the OAS and of other organizations cast doubt on the credibility of the vote count.

Three weeks: That’s how long it took the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras to decide the outcome.

CANDIDATES

Juan O. Hernández

Salvador Nasralla

National Party

The Alliance

President

Opponent

CANDIDATES

Juan O. Hernández

Salvador Nasralla

National Party

The Alliance

President

Opponent

CANDIDATES

Juan O. Hernández

Salvador Nasralla

National Party

The Alliance

President

Opponent

CANDIDATES

Juan O. Hernández

Salvador Nasralla

National Party

The Alliance

Presidenta

Opponent

More than 20 dead in street protests and suspicions of electoral fraud. Two candidates claimed victory, but in the end, one was declared the winner: incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández, the candidate of the ruling National Party (NP).

For weeks, The Alliance kept a victory celebration message on its website.

Official election data shows that Salvador Nasralla, the opposition Alliance candidate, led the election for most of the vote count. The trend changed dramatically after 68% of the vote was tallied.

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

42.98%

% of votes

40

41.38%

68%

of the vote

scrutinized

20

0

0

25

50

75

100

% of votes counted

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

42.98%

% of votes

40

41.38%

68%

of the vote

scrutinized

20

0

0

25

50

75

100

% of votes counted

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

42.98%

% of votes

40

41.38%

68%

of the vote

scrutinized

20

0

0

25

50

75

100

% of votes counted

Votos para NP

Votes for Alliance

42.98%

% of votes

40

41.38%

68%

of the vote

scrutinized

20

0

0

25

50

75

100

% of votes counted

Amid the protests and accusations of fraud that followed the election, an observer mission team of the Organization of American States (OAS) disqualified the results in the face of what it called "irregularities and deficiencies.”

The report included the technical analysis of Georgetown University professor Irfan Nooruddin. His conclusion was even more emphatic: "On the basis of this analysis, I would reject the proposition that the National Party won the election legitimately."

Nooruddin analyzed the difference in votes between the two parties during the recount. The following graph shows the drop in the number of votes for the Alliance after 68% of the count.

How to read this graphic

The horizontal axis shows the difference of percentage points between both candidates.

2

0

0

Nasralla + 5

Hernández + 2

100

How to read this graphic

The horizontal axis shows the difference of percentage points between both candidates.

2

0

0

Nasralla + 5

Hernández + 2

100

The further to the right the line is, the greater the advantage of the Alliance candidate during the counting of votes. The further to the left, the greater the advantage of the National Party candidate.

Difference of votes in favor of Alliance

Difference of votes in favor of NP

2

0

2

4

0

Alliance begins to distance itself.

% of votes

counted

25

50

Change in the trend.

68%

75

Nasralla loses 3.5 points advantage.

100

2

4

0

2

Nearly 50,000 votes in favor of PN.

Difference of votes in favor of Alliance

Difference of votes in favor of NP

2

0

2

4

0

Alliance begins to distance itself.

% of votes

counted

25

50

Change in the trend.

68%

75

Nasralla loses 3.5 points advantage.

100

2

4

0

2

Nearly 50,000 votes in favor of NP.

Difference of percentage points between candidates

Change in the trend.

4

Difference of votes in favor of Alliance

2

Nasralla loses 3.5 points advantage.

Alliance begins to distance itself.

0

Difference of votes in favor of NP

Nearly 50,000 votes in favor of NP.

2

68%

50

75

0

100

25

% of votes counted

Difference of percentage points between candidates

Change in the trend.

4

Difference of votes in favor of Alliance

2

Alliance begins to distance itself.

Nasralla loses 3.5 points advantage.

0

Difference of votes in favor of NP

Nearly 50,000 votes in favor of NP.

2

68%

50

75

0

100

25

% of votes counted

The OAS technical analysis explained that this fall in a candidate’s vote is theoretically possible, but represented and “extreme statistical improbability”. He found the same pattern repeated in many of the country's departments where support for the Alliance fell almost simultaneously.

Then there were other unusual aspects to the vote count, says Nooruddin, such as an unusual increase in voter participation late in the count, well above the average.

The trend skyrocketed after 68% of the vote count.

57.5%

The average participation during the election was 57.5%.

100

68%

0

50

% of votes counted

The trend skyrocketed after 68% of the vote count.

57.5%

The average participation during the election was 57.5%.

68%

100

0

50

% of votes counted

The trend skyrocketed after 68% of the vote count.

57.5%

The average participation during the election was 57.5%.

100

68%

0

50

% of votes counted

The trend skyrocketed after 68% of the vote count.

57.5%

The average participation during the election was 57.5%.

100

68%

0

50

% of votes counted

Theodore Dale Vukanovich, head of the company that processed and transmitted the results, said the change is explained by votes coming in from rural areas.

Dale Vukanovich says that Nasralla's advantage began to fall after the second day of counting with the arrival of the rural votes on November 28 and 29 -as the following graph shows.

After the closing of the voting centers, the lack of internet or electricity in some rural areas meant that many precinct tallies had to be sent by trucks to the capital instead of transmitting them digitally, which caused the count to be delayed. According to Dale Vukanovich, most of that vote favored the ruling party candidate.

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

Votes in rural areas (in thousands)

600

300

No data

available

0

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

Days of count (from November 26)

Votes in urban areas (in thousands)

600

300

No data

available

0

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

5

Days of count (from November 26)

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

Votes in rural areas (in thousands)

600

300

No data

available

0

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

Days of count (from November 26)

Votes in urban areas (in thousands)

600

300

No data

available

0

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

5

Days of count (from November 26)

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

Votes in rural areas (in thousands)

Votes in urban areas (in thousands)

600

600

300

300

No data

available

No data

available

0

0

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

5

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

Days of count (from November 26)

Days of count (from November 26)

Votes for NP

Votes for Alliance

Votes in rural areas (in thousands)

Votes in urban areas (in thousands)

600

600

300

300

No data

available

No data

available

0

0

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

5

day 26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

Days of count (from November 26)

Days of count (from November 26)

A manipulated vote count?

Both the president of the Supreme Electoral Court, David Matamoros, and Dale Vukanovich defend the validity of the electoral process.

Theodore Dale Vukanovich, manager of the company in charge of the transmission of the results | David Adams

"I want everyone to know that electronic vote fraud was impossible, and that can be demonstrated," Dale Vukanovich told Univision.

But there are suspicions. One of the theories about what happened was presented in a detailed 66-page report by the group GANAS USA (Group of North American Friends in Software), which accessed a sample of the precinct tallies stored on the official server. Their analysis argued that some showed signs of electronic modification.

According to GANAS, this tally sheet, 13014, processed on Nov 27 bore no signatures. | GANAS.
The same tally sheet appears in the system days later, on Nov 30, this time with signatures | GANAS.

The analysis concluded that in some of the records it appears that the original scanned information was deleted and new data was included. The OAS acknowledged one of its reports that it did not find "concrete actions with the purpose of intentionally altering" the results. But, it also stressed that the system the Honduran government used was not secure enough.

SOURCE: Organization of American States, Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras, Irfan Nooruddin (Georgetown University), Theodore Dale Vukanovich.
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