In 2012, an Argentine-American and his Puerto Rican husband landed in Cordoba, Argentina to start a new life, and document their cultural experiences abroad. Our blog comes complete with personal experiences, photos, videos, and tips to make the transition of living abroad a bit easier.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Voting In Argentina
On Sunday, August 11th, 2013, I voted for the first time ever in Argentina. How did I manage that? Well, as I've mentioned before, I was born here, but moved to the States when I was 5, where I went front U.S. resident to U.S. citizen over a period of time. However, I do consider myself 100% American. However, Argentine law requires that all of its citizens vote, and that includes Argentine-Americans. And that's okay, because I do plan on staying in Argentina for a couple of years, and whatever happens here politically will affect my spouse and I. So, I wanted to add my voice, and I did.
I arrived at my designated voting area, but there was a major back up of cars on the narrow neighborhood streets.
I headed into the building, (which is a school), and walked up to the voting table that was assigned to me. How did I know which table that was? There's a website that lists your name, the voting location you're supposed to go to, and the table to report to once you get there.
After I was checked in, I was given an empty envelope and told to walk into a room. I was confused at first because I was expecting to find computerized ballots. The last U.S. election I voted in had those, but I'm afraid I jumped the gun on my expectations about the voting system here.
There was a table with flyers. Each flyer represented the political party available for voting. I already knew who I was going to pick since I'd been doing research in anticipation of the upcoming election. So. I grabbed the flyer with the representative of my choice, folded it and placed it inside the envelope. I had to use spit to seal the envelope, which was disgusting!I'd forgotten how nasty envelope glue tasted like. Too bad I couldn't e-mail my vote.
With the sealed envelope, I left the room and headed back to the table. For a second, I didn't know what to do, but the people there were kind and helpful.
I slipped my sealed voting envelope inside the ballot box. Then I signed my name and received a voting slip. Now I have to keep this voting slip for six months until the voting records are updated to show that I did in fact vote.
Why is the voting slip important? As I stated, voting is a serious thing in Argentina. If I want to apply for a credit card or even a job, I need to show proof that I've voted. You can also get fined if you don't vote.
I'd like to point out that if for whatever reason, a voter doesn't agree with any nominee, they can choose to submit an empty envelope into the voting ballot, but the voter has topresent themselves on election day.
This election was a preliminary to weed out the weaker candidates. Then I’ll vote again this coming October for whoever is left standing.
Oh, and in case you were wondering who I was voting for... shhh! I’m not telling.