Venezuelan Style | Eduardo Briceño

Venezuelan Style

Today there were Venezuelan presidential elections, which were, of course, Venezuelan style. I got to San Francisco and there were lots of people waiting outside to vote, with no resemblance of a line. I found a volunteer, who explained that there were four tables and four lines, that I was in table 3 and that lines 3 and 4 were supposed to be near where we were but it appears that now it’s more like a crowd of people than separate lines… While anyone assigned to tables 3 and 4 would join the crowd, anyone in tables 1 and 2 would walk straight up to the tables because there were very few people assigned to those tables (so the people working those tables were often idle, with nothing to do, while lots of people waited). The most amazing thing to me was that if you were lucky, while you were in line, you learned at some point (except people in lines 1 and 2, since they didn’t have a chance to wait in line), that the ballot was composed of 39 pictures of candidates, most of which were of either the president or the leading opposition candidate, but if you picked any of 4 pictures for the opposition your vote would be null and void (while all pics of the president would work fine). Finally, later in the day I learned that the Venezuelan government had closed down the Miami consulate and told any Venezuelans in Miami that if they wanted to vote, they had to go to New Orleans to do so…

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