Venezuela

Judge Says Manual Recount Not Available in Venezuela

Country's constitution eliminated such systems in 1999

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A manual recount of votes isn't possible in Venezuela, the head of the country's Supreme Court said Wednesday, suggesting there is no legal basis for the opposition's push for a ballot-by-ballot audit of the narrow presidential election results.

In nationally televised remarks, Venezuelan Chief Justice Luisa Estella Morales said Venezuela's 1999 constitution eliminated manual recounts in favor of a "system audit."

"In Venezuela the electoral system is completely automated. Therefore, a manual count does not exist. Anyone who thought that could really happen has been deceived," she said. "The majority of those who are asking for a manual count know it and are clear about it. Elections are not audited ballot by ballot but through the system."

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