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The OAS Expert Mission Presents its Verification Report of the Vote Tabulation

  January 20, 2011

The Expert Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the verification of the vote tabulation of the November 28, 2010 Presidential Election delivered its report to the Government of Haiti on January 13, 2011. Following the January 17 visit of OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, the report was officially submitted to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) by President Préval on January 18. This report contains an assessment and recommendations on the vote tabulation and other factors that had an impact on the preliminary results of the first round.

This Mission, consisting of nine experts in tabulation, statistics, data analysis, information technology and electoral systems, from Canada, Chile, France, Jamaica and the United States of America, worked in the country from December 30, 2010 until January 9, 2011.

The Expert Mission devised a specific methodology for assessing the vote tabulation of the first round. A review of a pilot sample allowed the experts to establish a checklist for data collection and to determine the criteria for the verification of the results sheets (“Procès-Verbaux” or PVs). Subsequently, the Mission utilized a national sample of 300 PVs, which enabled it to identify a number of trends as well as the most frequent irregularities.

The data analysis from the national sample also showed that the use of the parameters of vote turnout and total votes per candidate was the most effective way to identify irregularities and fraud. The experts therefore verified all PVs for which turnout reached 50% or more, and where one of the presidential candidates obtained 150 votes or more. The Mission also verified all PVs with a turnout of 100% or more. Overall, the Expert Mission verified 919 PVs representing 16.9% of total votes counted by the Vote Tabulation Center (CTV). The verification focused on the presence of signatures required on the PV, the presence of the partial list of electors (LEP) and the tally sheet in the “sachet” containing the PV, and on the presence and validity of the national identification card (CIN) numbers written on the LEP.

Following the evaluation of the PVs, the Expert Mission recommended to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) the exclusion of 234 PVs that were not in compliance with the above criteria, in order to help inform its decision on the validation of the preliminary results of the Presidential Election and the ranking of the second and third candidates. This recommendation should be taken into account during the contestation phase which allows candidates to challenge the preliminary results through the statutory hearings so that a final result for the first round of the presidential election can be proclaimed.

Regarding the evaluation of the practices and procedures used at the CTV, the OAS Expert Mission considers that these have not been implemented systematically. The Mission found a number of PVs for which results had been tabulated, but that did not meet the predetermined criteria. Despite these shortcomings, the Mission recognizes the efforts of the CTV to identify and exclude irregular PVs from the tabulation of the preliminary results. 64,867 excluded votes were shared disproportionately by the three leading candidates. The Expert Mission provided recommendations to standardize and make more transparent the verification of PVs. Its recommendations also cover the training and the organization of the work of the CTV to improve its effectiveness.

Through the examination of PVs, the Mission found that most of the irregularities and cases of fraud occurred in polling stations on Election Day. Therefore, the Mission believes that better training of election officials could overcome the deficiencies encountered in the filling out and handling of election documents. The Mission also recommended sanctions against polling station workers and voting center supervisors where serious irregularities and cases of fraud occurred.

The Joint OAS-CARICOM Mission (JEOM) deplores the leaking of a draft report before it was handed over to Haitian authorities, as stipulated in the terms of reference governing its work.

The JEOM notes the January 18, 2010 Press Release #63 of the CEP, which indicates that the recommendation concerning the change of position in the ranking of the second and third candidates on the preliminary results of December 7, 2010 “will be taken into account in the treatment of the contestations at the BCED and BCEN, as prescribed by the Electoral Law”.

The JEOM also notes that presidential candidates who filed contestations of the preliminary results may obtain from the CEP a copy of the Expert Mission’s report, and that the technical recommendations of the Expert Mission will be considered for the second round.

During his visit to Haiti, the OAS Secretary General informed the President of the Republic that the second OAS Expert Mission would accompany the contestation phase at the national level to ensure that hearings are conducted transparently and in accordance with the Electoral Law.

The Joint Mission wishes to thank the staff of the CEP and CTV for their availability and collaboration that enabled the OAS Expert Mission to carry out its work and to receive all the information it required.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-509/11