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Venezuela :Voters fear new biometric technology December 2, 2006

Posted by publicpolitics in Political Technology.
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The electoral authorities say electronic fingerprinting is necessary to avoid fraud.

The opposition says this will allow the government to see how each person votes and could stop people voting against Mr Chavez for fear of reprisals.

Natalie Malanarich, BBC

The Venezuelan presidential elections are on December 3rd, and the country is deeply divided on the subject of Hugo Chavez. The divide, according to this story, is not simply a division of rich and poor, since their are plenty of people who have made money tagging along with the Chavez poor people’s revolution. Both sides have some stake in voter turnout, but it is highly likely that fears of surveillance will potential turnout of Chavez foes more than of his proponents, although both sides would stand to lose if voter records were used for reprisals, no matter whether the left or the right instigate them. And here lies a cautionary tale. Certain kinds of political technology, no matter how perfect in themselves, will cause suspicion and perhaps affect turnout in direct proportion to the intensity of the divisions among the parties, factions, and members of a polity. And for that reason alone, good precautionary democracy demands that we not fall into the trap of using technologies of identity just because we can.

Tags: Chavista | VOTES | says | opposition | neighbourhood | divided | Venezuela | chavez

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