817.00 Woodward Electoral Mission/57½
Memorandum by the Division of Latin American Affairs
This contemplated supervision on the same basis as the 1928 and 1930 elections, with American chairmen at every electoral mesa. It called for an electoral personnel of 1115 and 1800 additional marines for protective purposes. Cost to this Government estimated at $750,000.
This provided for a modified form of supervision under which Nicaraguans would be chairmen of the electoral booths in the bandit areas, that is, in 178 out of the 432 booths or about 42% of the total number of booths. The registered voters who would vote in these mesas are approximately 35% of the total voters. This plan provided for a system of American inspectors who would visit the booths under Nicaraguan chairmen and check and control their activities. Originally it was planned that the American inspectors would be protected by patrols of Nicaraguan National Guards, but Admiral Smith has recommended that United States marines be used to augment this protection. Under Plan “B” 643 electoral personnel would be required and 718 additional marines for protective purposes. Cost to the United States $500,000.
This provides for a further modification of the supervision in that the American inspectors are eliminated. This would leave 178 electoral booths under Nicaraguan chairmen with little, if any, direct control from the American mission, although of course in the last analysis the American chairman of the National Electoral Board would have the power to order an investigation of frauds, re-count, etc. This plan would call for an American electoral personnel of 643 and for no additional protective forces. Cost to the United States $200,000.