Correspondent in Caracas
Yadira González, 62, does not have internet in her home in La Pastora, an old neighborhood in the north of Caracas that surrounds the Miraflores Palace, but was able to vote in the popular consultation promoted by the opposition led by Juan Guaidó, thanks to the neighborhood command that visited her yesterday, thus facilitating their participation in these elections.
The house-to-house visit, carried out by groups of neighbors from Monday to Friday, is for assist those who do not have internet to vote through any of the three platforms designed by the interim Government: the consultation website, the Voatz application or the Telegram social network. The interim president told ABC that only 8 out of every 100 Venezuelans have the internet every day.
It is the first time that remote digital voting has been used in Venezuela, for which it is required to have an identification card (Spanish DNI) and be over 18 years old. The consultation has the technical support of the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS).
This electronic system allows Venezuelans to vote both inside and outside the country. The initial phase of five days to send your vote will culminate this Saturday in person at 3,000 centers where voters, without having to be registered with the National Electoral Council, can ratify their wishes. The query includes three questions with answers of “Yes or No” that were approved by the opposition majority in Parliament led by Juan Guaidó. The first question asks “If it demands the cessation of the usurpation of the Presidency by Nicolás Maduro and calls for free, fair and verifiable presidential and parliamentary elections.” The second question says: “Do you reject the December 6 event organized by the Nicolás Maduro regime and ask the international community to ignore it?” And the third question to citizens if they “order the necessary steps to be taken before the international community to activate cooperation, support and assistance that allow us to rescue our democracy, address the humanitarian crisis and protect the people from crimes against humanity.”
Juan Guaidó and the opposition deputies have been on the campaign for two weeks amid obstacles such as the lack of gasoline and the extreme control measures of the police and the National Guard on the roads that impeded the transit of politicians. Another obstacle has been the Nicolás Maduro regime with the public telephone company Cantv, responsible for providing service to more than half of the country, which has blocked the internet both in Caracas and in the regions, what sabotages data transmission on the platforms of the popular consultation.
Emilio Graterón, former mayor of Chacao, and member of the organizing committee of the consultation, said that at its beginning last Monday the three platforms enabled for digital participation: the Voatz application, the Telegram social network and a web portal dedicated to the consultation, presented technical problems at the start of the process, something that the Organizing Committee did not see at all wrong, since they assured that it happened due to the high volume of Venezuelans who was trying to participate.
«The system has presented problems, we know it, the system is collapsed due to the number of people trying to enter, in some cases up to eight people are being detected per second, “explained former magistrate Blanca Rosa Mármol at a press conference held in Los Palos Grandes square, east of Caracas.
The problems of greater saturation of the platforms were registered mainly in the Voatz app, an application made by an American company and that has been used in small elections in that country, while, in social networks, users who reported their participation stood out the simplicity of the process through Telegram.
For her part, Yadira González told ABC that she appreciated the opportunity to participate in the consultation with neighbors because she suffers from arthritis. “We know that Maduro will not leave Miraflores the next day, but we demand that he leave peacefully with the consultation. Enough of so much misery and it is time for me to leave power. We want a change. This is my opinion. The consultation is a way to protest and pressure ».