High Turnout, Excitement around Honduras’ General Elections
General elections in Honduras, held on November 24, 2013, saw a high percentage of registered voters going to the polls. Citizens voted for President; 128 deputies to the National Congress; 298 mayors and 298 vice mayors; 2,092 municipal aldermen across 298 municipalities; and 20 deputies and alternates to the Central American Parliament.
Luis Arturo Sobalvarro, IFES Chief of Party in Honduras, answers some questions on Election Day.
How was the mood on Election Day?
More than 60 percent of registered Honduran voters headed to the polls, 10 percent more than in the previous general elections in 2009 – a strong indication of the widespread interest in participating. The mood on Election Day was joyful and festive.
How was security on Election Day?
Security on Election Day was tight, with 15,000 members of the Honduran armed forces and 10,000 members of the National Police deployed throughout the country. There were no violent incidents to report. The process unfolded very peacefully.
How was turnout?
Voter turnout was just over 60 percent: 10 percent more than the 2009 general elections, and 12 percent more than last year’s primaries.
The poll worker manual included a section on administering the vote to persons with disabilities. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) also implemented trainings in this area.
How did these measures impact access for persons with disabilities?
Hard data is not yet available, but there is anecdotal evidence that persons with disabilities were significantly assisted. IFES deployed more than 500 electoral facilitators in more than 30 municipalities in 10 of the country’s 18 departments. These electoral facilitators were dispatched specifically to assist persons with disabilities and others at voting centers.
Who observed the election?
There were more than 17,000 observers monitoring the November 24 elections, including 800 international observers. The Organization of American States deployed 85 observers, and the European Union deployed 95.
When will results be announced?
The Honduran electoral law stipulates that final and official results must be announced within 30 days of the electoral process. The Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal is still processing results and it is expected to conclude this process by November 30. However, final results will not be announced until all – if any – complaints and challenges are resolved.
When will the elected take office?
Inauguration day for newly elected officials has been set for January 27, 2014.