Ecuador Election — First Results

I am posting this Reuter’s article about the Ecuadorian presidential election because it illustrates two important differences between US election practices and international practices.

  • First, internationally it is common for ballots to be counted in precincts and then audited centrally. This allows for instant precinct results to be announced at the close of polls. With the widespread use of electronic tabulating equipment in precincts–such equipment or something similar is generally necessary under HAVA for “second chance” requirements–it is becoming easy for such precinct counts to be done.
  • Second, although though some countries, including Ecuador, use exit polls, they rely much more on the “quick counts” of a sample of precincts to predict the outcome. Long-time readers probably are bored of our touting this, but it would be a valuable tool in US elections.

The Reuter’s article is below.

Ecuador’s leftist candidate Rafael Correa has won 25.3 percent of votes and tycoon Alvaro Noboa 24.3 percent, according to the initial results from an quick count of 5.4 percent of ballot boxes around the country by electoral authorities on Sunday. The results do not represent national voting trends as ballot box vote counts are usually received first from larger cities and towns before remote rural areas.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the votes on Sunday or 40 percent of votes with a 10 percentage point advantage, a run-off will be held on Nov. 26 between the two contenders.

Two national exit polls earlier showed Noboa slightly ahead with between 29 and 27 percent of votes and Correa with 27 to 25 percent of the votes. Official results are expected later Sunday.