domingo, 15 de agosto de 2004


I already voted! A huge crowd waiting in line, never seen before, with a lot of enthusiasm and pacience. I got there at about 0430hs, and the voting center was suposed to open at 0530, but chavista witnesses never showed up. We had to wait until 0700hs, as the law says, and new witnesses were picked from the crowd.

The fingerprint machines were pretty fast, but I had to put my right thumb at least five times to get the machine to read it. I was given a piece of paper with only the book and page were my name was, on the electoral notebook at the table. I was worried about that piece of paper, 'cause I thought it would have my name on it, so theoretically they would be able to match my fingerprint with my vote. Not that I don't want anybody to know who I voted on, but other people were very concerned. The fact that the paper doesn't have the name, but only the book and page, ensures the vote is totally secret. The center ended up opening at 0700hs, and I left at 0750hs, after voting at the same classroom I sat 20 years ago, on my second year of elementary school.

When I left, I heard on the radio that some fingerprint machines were not installed or not working properly across the country, so later on we could have a special resolution from the CNE suspending the use of the machines.

Health Minister Roger Capella, the one that said on TV that all those public employees signing against Chavez should be fired, showed up at Lisandro Ramirez Elementary, my voting center, at around 0650hs. Apparently he was trying to sneak in front of everybody else to cast his vote, but the crowd spotted him and a loud boo started to roar. People yelled from "fuera, fuera", to "se va, se va, se va". Then, apparently he second-guessed what he was trying to do and left with a military officer as a bodyguard.

I'm posting some pictures now. I apologize, for my camera is a cheap one, and the maximun resolution is 640x480.