Votes with feathers: Clash of ideas among TSE magistrates

Magistrate Julio Olivo also said he has requested more information about the votes that were “ironed” in the vote count.

There are different positions between the two magistrates Supreme Election Court (TSE)In reports to Radio YSKL, during the last Presidential and Parliamentary elections held on February 4, 2024, ballot papers appeared with votes marked with a pen or pencil rather than with crayons issued at each Returning Board (JRV).

Judge Noel Orellana pointed out that according to reports gathered by YSKL this Thursday, there are no regulations against Salvadorans marking their votes with any other material, except for the crayon provided by the Directorate of Elections to each JRV.

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“There are countries where people even carry their pens. There is no rule that expressly states that voters must vote with a crayon that goes in their box,” Orellana said.

Noel Orellana, Magistrate of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). / Photo EDH Archive

The election official, Julio Olivo, also warned Friday, however, that “those ballots that appeared were not folded, he pointed out, and were marked with a marker on the Internet. … This is not normal. “I have asked that these cases be investigated as ex-officio. , we should investigate cases of manipulation or alteration, and we should send to ask how many ballots actually appear with that type of data. “

Olivo points out that he has a hypothesis for what might have happened: “It's possible that (the receiving desk) didn't get the crayons on Election Day,” which could have led people to use another article to cast their vote.

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According to Orellana, “They are exceptional cases that must be clearly (absolutely) known, analyzed; and I imagine that the committee will discuss it with the college system, and we will determine what the law establishes for this purpose.”

Orellana, however, agreed that “crayon is safe” for TSE.

Suspicious ballots

Olivo said the TSE is obligated to investigate “ironed” ballots, that is, those that appeared folded or without markings of having been introduced into the ballot box. He also launched another theory as to what might have happened.

“One hypothesis about clear ballots: They can be leftover votes, you have to tear them up or destroy them at the end of the process, you're not going to use them,” Olivo noted. .

Anyway, Olivo revealed, “I'd like to see one of those unfolded ballots. The ballot has security markings, I can send a request, and each magistrate has a code. I'm not going to give mine to anybody. We have to see if the ballot is legit, there's a lot of expertise.” “

Julio Olivo, Magistrate of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. / Photo EDH Archive

If it turns out that the members of the JRV manipulated the ballots, they marked them with a marker or some falsification, Olivo said “there is an electoral crime, because the members of that table, if you find them , “we have to see if they marked the rest. It is changing people's will.”

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Olivo said he would “wait for the college system's reaction, and those ballots should be heard by the court.” Likewise, in this case there is no need for a complaint by citizens or political parties, but “we can do it officially, there are cameras” at the “Adolfo Pineda” gymnasium, he said. takes place.

“That's what I asked: that whatever manipulation or incident happened, the TSE should meet to investigate those cases. It was not done,” lamented the magistrate, who took the opportunity to break the international news: “Organizations like the OAS (Organization of American States) learned about the situation and they There is one more representation. We have to pay attention to this situation.”

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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