For Venezuela poll computer Maduro ‘does not exist’
Caracas, Venezuela - After months of devastating shortages, deadly protests and mounting chaos, many a Venezuelan has wished President Nicolas Maduro never existed.
The computer system handling Sunday's controversial elections to his powerful new constitution re-writing body appears to feel the same way.
When Maduro scanned his ID card as he cast his ballot - the first Venezuelan to do so - the screen spit out the words, "This person does not exist or the ID was cancelled."
The message, displayed on the screen of a poll worker’s cellphone, was captured by TV cameras and soon went viral online. The ID card in question is the ‘fatherland card’ introduced by Maduro's socialist government to buy subsidised food and access other social programmes.
As Maduro delivered a speech at the polling station, he paused to theatrically whip out his card.
“Let’s check my fatherland card so it will be permanently registered that I came to vote, and so my fatherland card will be engraved with it for life: That I voted the historic day of the constituent assembly,” he said. He then presented his card's bar code to be read with a scanner. “Did it read it?” he asked the young poll worker. “Yes, it did,” she said, without appearing to show him the message.