I don’t know if it was my imagination, but I saw a lot more people in this election than in the elections four years ago.
A finger marked with indelible ink is the proof you have voted in the Guatemalan General Elections. Above a marked finger in front of one of the voting centers in La Antigua Guatemala where elections progressed in a calm and quiet family atmosphere. It almost felt like a civic party.
The voting process was very similar to the General Elections of 2007, except for the fact that most people voted with the new counterfeit-proof new national identification card known as DPI and a few variations in the procedure. People were pointed to their voting centers by slips the were mailed a few weeks ago with the voting information or by visiting one of citizens’ registration booths made available by the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (Electoral Supreme Tribunal). At the voting centers, people were oriented by the posters with table numbers and voting registration number (número de empadronamiento in Spanish). Once the voters had the right table, they walked to the queue and waited for their voting turn. At their turn, they approached the table where they had to show their DPI or cédulas (old identification booklet). Their voting registration number was checked against the voting lists provided by Tribunal Supremo Electoral. If all checked correctly, voters were given five ballots: One for municipal mayorships, another for regional congress seats, another national congress seats, one more for Central American parliament and the last one for president and vice-president. With the five ballots and a crayon, voters walked to the voting booth and marked their election and walked back to the voting table to deposit their ballots in the urnas (ballot transparent bags). After that, DPI or cédula IDs were given back and their index finger marked with indelible ink. Basically, this was the voting process in Guatemala for 2011.
Children were also given the opportunity to simulate the election process by voting for president and vice-president. The children’s election process mimicked the adult voting process with similar ballot and erasable purple ink. Children between 5 and 17 years of age could participate. Children voting centers were located at different locations throughout La Antigua Guatemala.
I prepared a Flickr Slideshow of the Guatemalan Elections 2011 with keyframes showing the election process described above.
Please, let me know what you think of it and if you believe I have done my job at giving you a feeling for the election process in La Antigua Guatemala. I will be waiting for your feedback.
One more thing; I also grabbed a Storify chronicle of the elections prepared by selecting from the vast amounts of Twitter updates using one of the following hash tags: #EleccionesGT and #eVoto. Enjoy!