Sunday, December 5, 2010

It’s Election Day Again...

…which means Peruvians are voting for their favorite candidates, and I am doing without wine tonight because I forgot to buy it yesterday and it is illegal to sell it today. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in the voting process in Chiclayo. It’s quite similar to the process in the boonies of northern Wisconsin. In Lima electronic voting is just beginning to be put in place.

Voting takes place at various schools. The first step is to determine what group you are registered to vote in and what room the group’s officials are in. You do this by checking lists for your name outside of the classroom doors. The voting ‘officials’ have their names and photos posted above the registration lists. Just as voting is mandatory, so is serving as an official if you are selected. Yes, that’s Maribel 4th from the left. This group has 140 people registered in it.

Once inside you will be greeted by three officials. All three of them must witness every step of the process, except of course for your selection of candidates.

The first step is to hand your DNI (Peruvian national identification card) containing your personal information plus photo to an official, who will verify your identity against their registration list and the copy they have of your DNI as seen on the desk.

When your identity has been confirmed you’ll be handed a paper ballot and pen if you need one.

The ‘voting cabin.’ There were only two candidates on the ballot for Regional President so most of the voters I watched took only a few seconds to indicate their choice.

The ballot box is clear corrugated plastic sealed with security tape.

After depositing your ballot you need to sign the official’s copy of your DNI. But you’re not done yet.

The final step is to place your fingerprint next to your signature.

Lastly your DNI is returned to you along with a tissue to wipe the ink off your finger. The entire process averages less than three minutes.

Voting begins at 8:00am and finishes at 4:00pm. The woman and man on the right in this photo represent the two candidates. When I asked what specifically they were watching for the man responded, “We want honesty.” After the doors close the three officials will tabulate the result in the presence of the candidate’s representatives.

Maribel will be home somewhere around 7:00pm tonight after 11 hours at the school. “What’s for supper?” would not be a good question to ask her.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. Getting a camera anywhere near these places in Lima is not easy and pisses off a lot of tired uniformed people. Even when voting yourself, pulling out any kind of camera is frowned upon.