The Dilemma Repeats Itself / Reinaldo Escobar
Reinaldo Escobar, Translator: Unstated
In the midst of the candidate nomination assemblies for the district
delegate elections, the opposition media has revived the discussion
about what to do on the day we are supposed to vote. The options are the
Go to the polls as one more citizen, read the biographies of the
proposed candidates, and vote for whomever we see fit.
Go to the polls and deposit a blank ballot in the ballot box.
Go to the polls and mark the ballot with some message, which
automatically annuls the ballot.
Don't go to the polls and exercise the right to abstain.
In option number 1 (which I daresay most people will choose) there is a
sub-option that in our neighborhood some opponent will have managed to
jump the barriers and get themselves on the list of candidates, in which
case, and assuming we support our colleague, exercising our vote will
have a different meaning.
In the case of options 2 and 3, they will have no influence on the
election results because only valid ballots are counted and only if we
are present at the hour of scrutiny can we know the number of invalid
ballots, because the law establishes that the public report of the count
is made on an unused ballot where there is no space to write the numbers
of annulled or blank ballots. Nor are ballots with slogans recorded.
Those who choose option 4 should know whether their name has previously
appeared in the registry of voters, because it is common practice at the
sites where the lists are prepared not to include those who haven't
previously voted. If the name is not on the registry the absence won't
even influence the percentage of abstentions.
As unequivocal proof of the already traditional disunity of the
opposition movement, in the October elections there will be no consensus
about what the conduct should be of those who don't believe in the
process, much less will it be possible to figure out how many of those
who cast their vote for some candidate did so out of conviction, out of
pure formality, or from fear of being marked by the regime's watchdogs.
There are still people who believe that the ballots come numbered or
that there is a camera in the voting booth or that they take your
fingerprints from the paper.
It seems to me they're already reading the headlines in the Granma
17 September 2012