Venezuela held an election drill in preparation for the December 6 legislative polls in an effort to familiarize voters with the new electronic voting machines and resolve potential problems in the network of polling stations.
All the stations were up and running, and voters turned out in large numbers for the drill, Xinhua news agency quoted Indira Alfonzo, the president of the National Electoral Council, as saying to reporters on Sunday.
“We have 100 per cent of the active polling stations in operational condition, with the technological solutions and voting tables installed, with a significant participation of voters,” Alfonzo said.
Meanwhile, military troops were deployed throughout the country, especially at the 381 polling stations, according to Remigio Ceballos, the operational strategic commander of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.
“We have 68,000 troops who are working nationwide, supporting the National Electoral Council, and we are prepared, ready, so that on December 6 we can take that democratic route and vote,” Ceballos said, adding that everything was going smoothly.
He also called on citizens to participate in the drill to become familiar with the new voting machines.
President of the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts Nicanor Moscoso observed the drill and described the exercise as “very important”.
“This machine is more user-friendly, (and) it is easier to manage,” said Moscoso, who leads the group that routinely monitors and observes elections across Latin America.
Regarding social distancing and other steps against Covid-19, Moscoso said that all biosecurity measures and extreme care were seen being taken.
More than 20 million Venezuelans will be eligible to cast their ballots on December 6 to elect the 167 deputies of the National Assembly, who will hold office between 2021 and 2026.