Voters confused by the large ballot, don’t know all the candidates in a majority of the races

Mar 5, 2019

Although Ecuadorians know that they will go to the polls Sunday, March 24, most say they don’t know who’s running.

The national elections commission is mounting a campaign to make voters aware of their choices in the March 24 election.

The ignorance is especially notable in the election of members of the Citizen Participation Council where almost half of voters admit that that don’t even know what the council does, according to a recent ClickReport poll. Created to appoint judges, court administrators and administrative-level officials such as the attorney general, only 11 percent of voters nationwide say they know all the candidates while 56 percent admit the know none at all.

A growing movement is afoot to encourage a “no” vote for all council candidates which could render the council invalid, pending a decision from the National Elections Council (CNE).

Candidate recognition is also problematic in other races, including those for mayor and provincial prefects. Nationwide, according to Click, only 18.5 percent of voters say they know all candidates for mayor and prefect while 45 percent say they know a few and 33 percent say they know none.

The level of candidate recognition is higher in larger cities, with voters in Cuenca being the most knowledgeable about the ballot.

CNE plans to mount an aggressive information campaign in the three weeks remaining before the election. “The number of candidates running in this election – more than 8,500 in total – makes it very difficult to educate the voters,” says a CNE spokeswoman. “Our hope is that with more information available, voters will become aware of their choices by election day.”

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