Election Update, Midday

It’s noon on election day in El Salvador and so far reports from voters, election observers, major new stations, and major newspapers indicate that the presidential elections are largely unfolding smoothly, with some reports of irregularities.

Elections observers from the EU and OAS have applauded the improvement made by the TSE in the logistical organization of the today’s elections as compared to the elections in January. The Human Rights Ombudsman identified one of the most important improvements is the opening of voting centers on time; approximately 90% of voting centers opened at 7am this morning.

There have been a number of irregularities reported. These include

  • ARENA supporters handing out t-shirts at a voting center
  • FMLN and ARENA supporters waving banners outside a voting center, violating the 100m zone around voting centers where campaigning is prohibited
  • One woman arrested on suspicion of being a citizen of Nicaragua
  • Several instances of people being unable to vote due to irregularities on their DUIs, or their DUI photo not matching the photo on the electoral registry
  • A few members of Voting Center Councils dismissed: one because of inebriation, others for having unverifiable identification documents
  • There is an unconfirmed report that a FMLN representative on a Voting Center Council in Cojutepeque was arrested on charges of voting fraud, though it is unclear exactly what the circumstances are

Furthermore, at the voting center set up for Salvadorans living abroad, only 50 had voted by 10:30am. At least two were turned away because the addresses on their DUIs didn’t match their address in the electoral registry.

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