As the world watched for the results in the May 20 election in Venezuela, news outlets time an again turned for perspective to Javier Corrales, Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor of Political Science at Amherst College.
Some observers characterized the election, which ultimately re-elected incumbent Nicolás Maduro to second six-year term, as a sham, having the lowest voter turnout in Venezuela's democratic history.
Despite these concerns heading into the election, Corrales urged in a May 15 editorial in the New York Times that Venezualans should vote, regardless. “The correct question to ask is not whether voting is ideal — it certainly is not. We should be asking whether voting is better than doing nothing. To me, the answer is yes,” he wrote. “By doing nothing, that is, abstaining, Venezuelans will essentially vote for Mr. Maduro, giving him an easy victory.”
Articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Conversation, WLRN Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, and the Associated Press quoted his Times piece, sought his opinions, and cited his recent study on Venezuela’s electoral system.