Friends Of Honduras
PO Box 65676
Washington, DC 20035
Statement on the National Elections in Honduras
November 29, 2009
The Friends Of Honduras participated as International Observers in the Honduran national elections held on November 29. Our group is largely comprised of ex-patriots living in Honduras. We provided 79 observers of 7 different nationalities (Colombian, Canadian, Dutch, Irish, Italian, UK, and USA). We were the largest single group participating as International Observers. While all International Observers offer critical services, our group provides the extra benefit of living in or nearby the communities that we observed. We were able to reach communities that had never had International Observers before. We had observers at virtually every polling place in the Bay Islands, Balfate, Comayagua, Copan Ruinas, La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, and Tegucigalpa. Our group alone observed in nearly 50 different polling locations with several hundred polling stations.
We had a large concentration of observers in the Bay Islands. We were able to have observers at every polling place on the island of Roatan (except one with a washed out road), Utila, and Santa Helena. Virtually all of those polling places had observers from before they opened until the polls closed and the ballots were all counted. On the Bay Islands, we literally observed every step in the process from the military delivering the ballot boxes at 4:30AM to them being collected at midnight.
All of our members reported similar observations that the election process in Honduras is VERY transparent and fair. There are multiple layers of verification to ensure that only the properly registered person voted and that the defined electoral process is followed to the letter. The polling places were accessible to all citizens. The military and police provided security but were not a hindrance to the process. They were in fact very helpful, professional, and courteous. The people working the polling stations were well trained and committed to having a fair and clean election. The general demeanor of the people at all the polling places was one of happiness. There was a sense of pride among the voters as well as those working the polling stations.
We commend the TSE for conducting such a well-run election process. We appreciated the opportunity to assist them. These elections should be recognized as being free, fair and transparent.
The National Democratic Institute issued their preliminary report.
Ray Walser gives his report at The Corner of the National Review.
I'll have a report on my observations and some photos later.