Blogger/journalist Roberto Lovato has been in El Salvador observing the election. He called this morning to say there is concern because on Friday night they learned that the results would be broadcast tonight by a company called Universal Identification Solutions, according to the official program of the Salvadorian Supreme Electoral Tribune. I looked them up on the web and there is almost nothing about the company, and their website has no names of any individual associated with them.
Roberto reports that Gallup has FMLN’s Mauricio Funes up 10 points over Rodrigo Ávila of the right wing Arena party, which has won every election since the peace accords were signed in 1992. He also says pollsters from Central American University have FMLN up by 14 points. Others have him up by as much as 17 points.
Roberto says that many European and Latin American election observers have been documenting irregularities in the election process. He spoke to a woman who identified herself as Maria Tuyuc of UNAMGE, who came to El Salvador to observe the election, and she claims that the government tried to deny them entry into the country. "They had to fight their way to get in," said Roberto. Once inside, Maria told him that their names were not on the list of election observers and they were denied credentials.
He also says that last night there was a lot of suspicious activity:
Around 9pm on Saturday March 14, 2009, just hours before the presidential election in El Salvador, a group of electoral observers, including international electoral observers from the United States, noticed a group of over 150 suspicious buses that were just parked at the Cuscatlán Stadium in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Reports from the nearby community assured the presence of foreigners coming into the country in those buses to illegally cast votes in the upcoming heated Salvadorian presidential election taking place on Sunday March 15, 2009. In response, international electoral observers have decided to stay in the surrounding areas of the stadium, and other key places, throughout the night to monitor the suspicious activity.
Roberto is from El Salvador and he called me before he left to say how important it was for him to be there for this election, which could put an end to 150 years of military dictatorship in the country. The accounts he has written on his blog, Of America, have been extremely moving. It would be a terrible tragedy if the election were hijacked. "People in El Salvador want to know what to know what Universal Identification Solutions is, and they want to know how they were brought into the election process," says Roberto.
If anyone knows anything about Universal Identification Solutions, please leave word in the comments.