PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – An exit poll found that just over 6% of voters polled said they voted for the ruling party candidate, Jovenel Moïse of Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK).
The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Pierre Louis Opont gave the ruling party candidate a 33% first place victory and a spot in the second-round runoff.
The results from the CEP differ greatly from the exit poll which suggests that Moïse should have been placed fourth and ineligible for the second-round runoff.
According to the Associated Press, the exit poll was conducted by teams of researchers with the Brazil-based Igarape Institute. Consisting of U.S., Canadian and Haitian researchers, they interviewed 1,991 people at 135 polling stations. Their survey had a margin of error of 2.29 percentage points.
The exit poll also suggests that since results have been announced, a vast majority find the elections to be fraudulent.
On October 25, 2015, the election day exit poll had 82 percent of voters agree to the statement: “As far as I can see, this election is fair, there is no fraud.” But when results were announced on November 5, 2015, the follow-up with those same voters found that nearly 90 percent, now, had disagreed with that statement.
On election day, 4% said they were witness to fraud, such as, officials improperly turning away voters, people voting multiple times or casting ballots as a proxy for other voters.
Incidents of fraud were witnessed by the researchers at 12 of the 135 polling stations they observed; about 9 percent.
It is not unusual for exit polls to vary from actual vote counts and this study does not prove the preliminary results announced by the Provisional Electoral Council are inaccurate, said Robert Muggah, research director of the institute. But he believes it does suggest a need for further scrutiny.
“At a minimum, it raises some questions about people’s perceptions about the credibility of the results,” Muggah said in a phone interview from Rio de Janeiro.