Today Nick and I voted for the very first time in Puerto Rico. Today’s vote will decide our governor and representative to the US, as well as local mayors and district representatives. Petchie has written a very comprehensive and informative post about the elections in PR if you are curious to know more (Thanks Petchie!).
Armed with our snazzy new voter cards, we went to the local school which was our polling station. We have driven by this school many times on the way to town, so it was kind of interesting to actually walk up the very steep entrance road and see the school from the inside. Our polling station was quite busy, with plenty of people milling around inside and out.
Voting was really very straightforward thanks to an informative session held a few weeks back at the town hall, organized by Rhea Maxwell, editor of El Coqui. During the session, we reviewed the forms used for voting and learned how to fill them out (it is a bit confusing when you see them for the first time). So today was really quite an easy experience. One thing that impressed us both was the high level of voter security. Our names were checked off a list and we were directed to our voting room (we were in different ones because voter registration is done based on the name on your birth certificate). Once in the room they re-checked IDs against a printed electoral roll (that included photographs!) and had us sign next to our name. After voting, our fingers were marked with invisible ink (all hands are checked under an ultraviolet light before you go into the polling booth). There was no line in Nick’s “classroom” whereas I had to wait about 10 minutes at mine (see photo).
Ironically, getting out of the polling station was not as easy as the voting process was. The road was gridlocked, and the only way Nick could move (and allow traffic from the other direction to get through) was by reversing up the hill, and around a blind corner. Of course, this maneuver was slightly complicated by cars parked on both sides of the narrow road. Technically we were going the right way, it was just the car that was facing in the wrong direction! 🙂
We are now keeping our eye on the results as they come in (on TV and online). Later tonight, we’ll tune in to stateside election news. What an exciting day!