Venezuela opposition shows evidence of tampered vote count

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds up a map with the Venezuelan regions highlighted in red where pro-government candidates were victorious, during a press conference at the Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Maduro defended the results of Sunday's gubernatorial elections and said that those who report fraud are lying. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s opposition is presenting what it says is the first hard evidence of possible ballot tampering in Sunday’s contested gubernatorial elections.

The government-stacked National Electoral Council declared loyalist Justo Noguera the winner of Sunday’s race in Bolivar state by just 1,471 votes over runner-up Andres Velasquez.

But the Democratic Unity alliance said Thursday the vote totals listed on the electoral board’s website don’t match the tallies from 11 ballot boxes certified by poll workers. The opposition said the inconsistencies resulted in 2,199 votes being awarded incorrectly to Noguera that were enough to swing the election in his favor.

Authorities said government candidates won 18 of 23 gubernatorial races. The opposition has disputed the results and pointed out what it says were a number of undemocratic maneuvers ahead of the vote.