Report of chief of Haiti Democracy Project?s observer mission in Port-au-Prince for the second round, April 21, 2006
The Haiti Democracy Project deployed three teams of four to five persons each to various voting centers in Port-au-Prince to observe Haitian parliamentary runoff elections on April 21, 2006. The teams were composed principally of Haitian-Americans and of Dominicans resident in Port-au-Prince.
A team also visited the Tabulation Center and met with CEP member Rosemond Pradel.
Voting sites visited included the following:
? Lycee Nacionale Petion-Ville
? Ecole Nacionale
? Ecole Guatemala
? Centre l’Instruction Chretienne
? Primature, Delmas
? Cite Soleil/Industrial Park
? Delmas 21
? Office of Mayor, Lower Delmas
? Centre Sportif Carrefour
? Medical Faculty Complex, Carrefour
Operations at the voting sites on April 21 contrasted favorably with those on February 7, which the Haiti Democracy Project also observed. There was markedly improved organization and better staffing. A large number of changes reflected recommendations that the Haiti Democracy Project and other observers made to the United Nations and the electoral commission following the February election:
- Polls generally opened on time and processed all voters prior to the scheduled closing time of 4:00 p.m.
- Voter turnout was significantly lower than during the first round on February 7, reducing the pressure, but the organization had so improved that the sites were capable this time of handling two or three times more voters than they received.
- There was an enhanced security presence of the Haitian National Police, the U.N. force (MINUSTAH), the U.N. civilian police (UNPOL), and CEP security augmenters. Our observers saw no security incidents.
- Alphabetized voter lists were clearly displayed at all sites.
- Multiple, clearly identifiable CEP representatives were available at all sites to assist and direct voters to appropriate polling stations.
- There was no evidence of voter manipulation or coercion.
- Voting sites were pre-stocked with emergency supplies (e.g., lanterns) if needed.
- Poll workers and national observers were in abundance and knew their responsibilities.
- Food and water was available to them throughout the day.
International observers were relatively few (principally Canadian- and U.S.-sponsored).