Live Updates on Today's Elections - October 25

Today, Haiti is going to the polls. Ballots will be cast for the first round of the presidential elections, second round of legislative elections, and a round of municipal elections. Official observers from OAS, the European Union and Haitian civil society organizations, as well as a team from the Haiti Elections Blog collaboration have been closely following the developments since the opening of the polls at 6 a.m. today.

This Live Blog includes reports obtained by: (a) our own observers on the ground, (b) the team's direct communications with observers, journalists and others on the ground, and (c) cell phone reports to our ground-sourcing platform, and public sources. We cannot verify every report, but will try to verify the most serious incidents. We are also distributing information via our Twitter feed.


UPDATE 11:30 PM -  Schools closed on Monday. Radio Kiskeya reports its journalists were subject to an "armed aggrression" early in the day in Carrefour-Feuilles, and the police failed to intervene.
Accroding to the Nouvelliste, the government reports that of 13,725 voting bureau's nationwide, only 8 had elections cancelled.

UPDATE 9:30 PM -   Latest police figures- 234 arrests, 13 guns confiscated, 4 vehicles seized, 2 police officers wounded.

Update 9 PM - Some reports of voting continuing despite the 4PM closure. Some centers that opened late extended their hours, but some didn't. Following general practice, voters in line at closing time are allowed to vote.

Update 7:25 PM - CEP President Pierre Louis Opont holds press conference to mark the close of election day, calls the day a "success"

Update 6:29 PM - As voting continues through the night, fewer electoral officials are sticking around to tally and certify vote count

Update 6:17 PM - Supervisors are now tallying votes in several bureaux de vote, but far fewer people observing than earlier, with an estimated maximum of five mandataires at each bureau de vote.

Update 5:37 PM - In Lizol, eyewitness report states that over 500 people are observing the mandataires as they count the votes in approx. 42 voting centers. The rules call for a maximum of 10 observers per center.

Update 5:18 PM - Many reports of votes being counted

Update 5:07 PM - Widespread reports confirm that polls have closed.

Update 4:37 PM - A correspondent of Radio Ibo is reporting that the voter turnout rate has improved in Les Cayes and surrounding communes.

Update 4:26 PM - Votes are being counted in the Petit Place Cazeau voting center and the Collège Jacques Stephanie.

Update 4:17 PM - Although no attempts have been made to clear out voters, it is reported that vote counting has started in some "bureaux de vote".

Update 4:12 PM - In Grand Goâve, the Ecole Nationale de Thossin is filed with voters hoping to cast a vote before the center closes.

Update 4:07 PM - The people living in the communities of Canaan are having difficulties accessing a voting center. Locals expressed frustration over being disenfranchised.

UPDATE 3:55 PM - Pierre Esperance of RNDDH (National Human Rights Defense Network), during an interview on Magik 9, stated that he is encouraged to see that voters are getting a chance to cast their ballot. However, major problems have been reported.

UPDATE : No voting center at Canaan. Voters there needed to travel to Lizol to vote, more than three miles away.

UPDATE 2:00 - 30 arrests for destruction reproted in Petit-Goave. Reports of arrests of electoral officials in Fort Liberte.

UPDATE 1:40 PM - Reports suggest that the National Police have made 67 arrests this morning. Reports of torn up electoral lists at the Ecole Nationale de Freres, preventing votes.

UPDATE 12:40 PM - Observers at Ecole Nationale in Tabarre say that there is less disorder today than in the elections in August. Even so, fraud is rampant.  A huge problem is mandataires voting several times. "They have a  stack of mandataire cards to vote with and wash off ink after each vote. The National Police are intervening, which is a big change from the August elections."

UPDATE: 12:15 PM -  The national police is reportedly cleaning out mandataires in the Tabarre voting booths after accusations of voter influencing with elderly voters. In Cite Solei, there are reports of scant security and a mandataire who was kicked out after voting for a third time. Radio reports suggest that the situation in Jacmel is "chaotic" and the national police have confirmed 27 arrests for the morning.

UPDATE 12:00 PM - On the ground observer notes that in Cite Solei there are "lots of people but many names are missing from the voter lists" and that "one mandataire was kicked out for voting three times".
Earlier in the day, one on the ground observer reported, "the police have arrested a political observer in Petionville." By the late afternoon, Prime Minister Evans Paul tweeted that more than 70 people have been arrested for electoral violence and electoral fraud.

UPDATE 11:34 -  Ecole National de Beudot: election workers report "about 100" voters have not been able to find their name on the list.

UPDATE 10:40 AM - On the ground observer reports "in Petit-Goave things are now going smoothly. Nobody was shot here contrary to earlier report", however "there are four individuals in police custody in Petit- Goave, according to police."
At College Ernst Desir, reports that bureau officials have voted 10-15 times, and are encourage voters to vote for the officials' candidates.
Radio Caraibes reports police arrest 15 people leaving Port-au-Prince with many ballots.

UPDATE 10:10 AM - "In Mirebalais, additional reports of individuals voting multiple times.
At Lycee Jean-Jacques in Port-au-Prince, one in twenty voters in line are women. Very few older voters reported.

UPDATE 10:03 AM - According to @robbygeff, "the BEC in Carrefour was burned last night, according to Wally Desence, President of the West 1 BED" @robbygeff

UPDATE 10:01 AM - Receiving on the ground updates that CEP officials are unable to accurately identify whether someone present is a mandataire or an observer. There are also instances of party representatives lacking proper identification, thus adding to the confusion.

UPDATE 9:42 AM - Two people are seen filling out one ballot at a local polling station. Photo. Another voter was arrested in possession of 15 voter cards.
According to Haitian media outlets, arrests have been made in Carrefour and in the Artibonite. Carlo Estar candidate for deputy of "Ayiti an Aksyon" (AAA) and Jean Claude Charles supervisor, were arrested in Petite Desdunes (Artibonite), accused of having voted several times. In Carrefour 3, to the voting centre Lycée Louis Joseph Janvier, 3 people were arrested after having stolen election materials.

UPDATE 8:55 - Rocks, bottles, thrown at incident at Delmas 32 center.

UPDATE 8:07 AM - 5 voting bureaus in one tent, with 50 mandataires (political party representatives). No room for voters, privacy.
Le Nouvelliste reports that voting in Le Borgne closed due to theft of materials. No voting materials for the Damocles Vieux Center in Carrefour.

UPDATE 7:58 AM - Reports indicate that although voters have been lining up since before 6am, the process has started slowly. According to Jacqueline Charles, in some areas there are so many party monitors that voters have not yet started voting. Haiti Press Network reports a strong police presence.

UPDATE 6:26 A.M. - Reports indicate that although lines of voters have formed outside centers since 6 a.m., many centers are opening late. 

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