Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reduced Expectations

Today the Supreme Election Tribunal (TSE) began setting expectations about voter turnout for the election in Honduras. They also began better explaining the discrepancies in the number of voters on the official voting list, versus the population numbers for Honduras.

Adrienne Pine, over on Quotha, observed that something about the 4.6 million person official voting list, and the 7.6 million person official population just didn't add up. Today, Saul Escobar, president of the TSE, admitted that the real voting census is 3.4 million, but that there are an additional 1 million registered voters outside the country. The voters in the exterior have not come out to vote in the last two elections.

Escobar's number of 3.4 million is 44.7% of the population. However, to complicate things, an El Heraldo article from yesterday tells us that 49.3% of the population (3,737,976 persons) are under 18, the legal voting age, leaving 50.7% (3,844,125 persons) over 18, and a total population of 7,582,101. The missing 444,000 voters presumably are the disenfranchised who are not registered to vote. If Escobar is correct and there are around 1 million registered voters outside the country, the true population of Hondurans is more than 8.6 million, but unknown.

The de facto government has been calling for a massive turnout. In 2005, the turnout was 56%. That was the lowest turnout since the 1982 constitution entered into effect. Today the TSE began to set our expectations for how massive a turnout to expect.

Roberto Micheletti said that he had information there would be an 80% turnout. The TSE president, Saul Escobar, expects a 60% turnout, slightly higher than the 2005 election, but hardly massive. Anonymous TSE officials told another La Tribuna reporter that they expected between 2 million and 2.4 million voters, or, at best, 52.6% turnout, which would be even lower than the 2005 election. This official said, "it would be bad if we barely got over a million voters, but we hope for at least 2 million, a number similar to the 2005 election."

So the TSE is reducing our expectations for voter turnout, from slightly better than the last election, to slightly worse than the last election.


phoenixwoman said...

Don't you know that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal is "independent ...selected and installed in a transparent, democratic process before the coup."

That's what Ian Kelly says, anyway.

chela said...

If it is true that there are around 1 million registered voters outside Honduras per Escobar, I wonder where they are? It's known that most emigrants that leave Honduras go to the US (if this is in contention, happy to get the ref). The State Dept thinks there's about 1 mil Hondurans living in the US ( El Heraldo says that in 2005, ~13000 *registered* (inscribieron, NOT votaron) to vote in the US, and they expect twice that amount this year ( So based on El Heraldo, where could these potential other 74000 registered voters possibly be?
In fairness, Tiempo says 11500 did vote ( But really, one million registered voters this year? Really?
Pardon my Español, pero esto huele a pura mierda.