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IEEG Readies Polling Places for Election

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 27 January, 2011

(Chilpancingo, NA 27 January) The twenty-eight electoral districts of Guerrero will be receiving the electoral packets today and tomorrow from the Guerrero Elections Institute (IEEG). So far, the IEEG reports no incidents except in two small towns in Tierra Caliente in the northwestern part of the state. There the communities rejected the “foreigners” from the capital who came to train poll workers. They insist on using locals.

In all, there are 2,427,938 enrolled voters in the state; polling places will number 4,895. The ballots are of paper; voting machines are not used. Each ballot shows the name of each candidate, and a large box with the party’s logo in the color associated with each. The voter is to place a large “X” in the box of his or her preference. It is neither required nor necessary to know how to read or write in order to vote. Pundits say that in Guerrero, as in the old days of Chicago, it is not even necessary to have a pulse.

In spite of three months of frenetic campaigns and lavish expenditures on political propaganda, turnout is expected to by light by US standards, at perhaps less than 30%. Many citizens are apathetic, ignorant of the process, or alienated by it. A majority do not want to spend their only day off standing in long lines just to vote. They figure the election is rigged, or the ballot box will be stuffed, stolen or burned anyway. Some will be scared away from the polls by threats of violence. In a system where votes can be purchased, gangs of political zealots try to suppress voting by others, so as not to dilute the impact of bought votes.

New technologies have made it easier to buy votes than ever before. Instead of purchasing the use of someone’s election credential, now all they need to do is promise to pay upon proof that the vote was cast for the right person. How do you prove it? Take a picture of your ballot with your cell phone before folding it and depositing it in the urn. For that reason, in this election cell phones and cameras are outlawed at the polls. This is unlikely to deter anyone; cell phones are also outlawed in banks and concerts, and virtually no one pays any attention to the rule.