Peruvian Elections Update

I previously posted about the election process in Peru. The elections were held on Sunday, October 5 while we were in Cusco. We had hired a driver for the day and in the late afternoon he asked us if we minded if he stopped at his polling place so he could vote. Of course, we said it was no problem (in particular given that both Carl and I were on the Wisconsin State Elections Board at one time). He made it just in the nick of time and was relieved that he didn’t have to pay the 150 soles ($54) fine.

A friend of mine in Cajamarca took the following pictures from the polling site. The first is the outside of the municipal ballot that is signed by the “table head” at the polling place, the second is the regional ballot, and the third is her national id, with a sticker that shows she voted and her ink-stained finger. Due to the high level of illiteracy, the ballot has the candidate photo and party symbol, in addition to his or her name. Ballots can be marked with a + or X over the selected candidate’s picture or party symbol.

In Cajamarca, the Regional President incumbent won with 49.9 % of the vote despite being incarcerated on corruption charges since June. He is anti-mining, which gives him a strong majority among the farmers and country folk in the Cajamarca region. His supporters believe that the corruption charges were trumped up in order to cause him to lose the election so the Conga mine project could move forward without his opposition. Others see the vote as a stall to progress and jobs for the area.

I honestly have no opinion on the election or the candidates. As a guest in Peru, I do not understand enough of its history or all of the issues to hold an opinion (odd for me, I know).

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