The Carter Center Statement about statistical
assessment of the referendum results

September 5th, 2004


Upon receiving complains from the opposition Coordinadora Democrática about suspected irregularities in the voting results recorded in the machine, specifically, a pattern of tied results among 2 or 3 machines in the same voting tables, The Carter Center consulted with several statisticians.    The statisticians advising our mission and the OAS mission, an independent statistician from Stanford University and an independent computer scientist at John Hopkins University all told us that the actual results are within the predicted range and do not of themselves prove fraud.  As we had noted, these tied results affect both the YES and the NO vote. 

Professor Jonathan Taylor of Stanford University provided an analysis to The Carter Center the week of August 16th, cited with his permission in an article published by Jennifer McCoy in The Economist on September 2nd.  Subsequently Prof. Taylor found a mistake in one of the models of his analysis which lowered the predicted number of tied machines, but which still found the actual result to lie within statistical possibility.  Prof. Aviel Rubin of Johns Hopkins University says on his webpage “…our analysis of the same data, based on simulations, did not detect any statistical anomalies that will indicate obvious fraud in the election.” (http:/

The Carter Center continues to be open to receiving any evidence of irregularities or fraud, and we will continue to inform the Venezuelan public of our assessment.  A report on the entire recall process from November to August will be forthcoming.


Kay Torrance, The Carter Center, 404-420-5129, ktorran@emory.eduu 

Pedro Antonuccio, The Carter Center, 58-212-9910087,




La Carta Democrática Interamericana fue aplicada por primera vez en abril de 2002, en reacción a la crisis política de Venezuela. Luego de que el Presidente Hugo Chávez tuvo que abandonar el Palacio de Miraflores, el 12 de abril, los cancilleres latinoamericanos que asistían a una reunión del Grupo de Río en Costa Rica exhortaron al Consejo Permanente de la OEA y al Secretario General a que evaluaran la situación de Venezuela en el contexto de la Carta Democrática Interamericana.

Inter-American Democratic Charter

Charte Démocratique Interaméricaine

Carta Democrática Interamericana - Português