A few days ago I wrote about last minute ballot changes that might hurt the chances of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. (See the post below.)
In particular, a party called "Unidad Democratica" switched its vote to dark horse candidate Reina Sequera after the ballots were printed. As a result, anyone who punched the UD ticket was giving their vote to Sequera even though it had Capriles' mugshot on it.
For anyone not following the race, Hugo Chavez won with 55 percent of the vote and a margin of more than 1.5 million votes, so this all pointless speculation.
But those ballot changes might have just cost Capriles victory in his home state of Miranda, where he is governor.
According to the National Election Council, Chavez won Miranda with 766,473 votes versus Capriles' 761,119. The Unidad Democratica ticket (with Capriles' mug on it) won 4,995 votes. Add those up and Capriles is just 359 votes shy of a tie.
But there were three other parties that also pulled their support from Capriles at the last minute. Anyone who marked his mug in one of those slots cast a null vote. The CNE doesn't provide a breakdown of null votes, but there were 28,770 of them in Miranda. Even if just a fraction were due to the unsuspecting trying to vote for Capriles through those three parties then he might have clenched it.
Of course, this is all irrelevant. Capriles isn't contesting the vote and is already looking toward the regional races in December.