Government unable to produce preliminary election results in El Salvador

Salvadorans are waking up this morning to find there are not yet any election results.   The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) finally announced at 2 in the morning, that a computer system for tabulating the results from each individual voting table had failed to work.   The TSE urged parties not to proclaim themselves the winners, although certain candidates did so anyways.  The TSE indicated that it would be uploading images of the vote tallies from each voting center onto the web, and that a final vote count would commence on Tuesday.

The new voting process created lengthy delays in counting the votes during the night.   The number of candidates, cross-party voting and the ability to choose individual candidates rather than parties meant there was a lot to count, and vote counters who had never had to count votes in quite this fashion before.  The TSE indicated it had received approximately 135,000 out of 277,000 vote tallies (actas) by 2AM.   It was not immediately clear what percentage of the voting centers had actually counted all their votes by early Monday morning.

Election day generally developed in a peaceful and orderly fashion as has been typical for elections in El Salvador in recent years. The elections lived up to their billing as the "fiesta civica" of the country. There were some arrests for election fraud. El Salvador's Human Rights Ombudsman (PDDH), whose office had deployed 600 observers across the country, said the elections had been clean, transparent, and tranquil. A member of a United Nations delegation said El Salvador should be proud of its electoral system.

With the FMLN in control of the executive branch in the country, the election determines how difficult it will be for President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and the FMLN to advance their agenda.   The newly elected legislature will be responsible for selecting one third of the judges on the country's Supreme Court and for selecting a new attorney general.   

Turnout was similar to the turnout in the 2012 elections when mayors and deputies were last elected, but slightly down from the presidential elections in 2014.

One group which was not heard from in the vote total was the community of Salvadorans living outside of the country.    Since they don't live in a municipality or a department, they did not get a vote for mayors or the deputies who are elected on a departmental basis.

There did not appear to be any gang-related activity aimed at the elections.

See a photo gallery of images from Sunday's elections from ContraPunto at this link.

1:15 PM Monday update -- still no official results.  Will Salgado concedes defeat in mayor's race in San Miguel to FMLN candidate.   Roberto D'Aubuisson, Jr. wins in Santa Tecla.