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Ecuador Votes!!!

Today, Ecuador votes on a historic constitution, containing additional benefits and new rights for the people...


The lead up to all of this has been refreshing to see.  Each year students of all ages meet to clean up the beaches--and this year it happened to be just before the election--so our front beach is pretty manicured right now.


Many of the people we meet, or who work for us,  believe, that because we have a little money, that we are automatically sympathetic to right wing causes in Ecuador, and are linked to the old corrupt regimes...When we tell them that our beliefs coincide with theirs, it is like a ray of sunshine brightens their faces.  Then they all want to tell us how excited they are to be able to participate in this historic event.


In this regard, Ecuador is striving to make the elections absolutely honest, and available to all the people.  The Sunday day to vote is a good example.  No one must leave without voting, just because they must report to their job.


Other ways to make the election more fair, are that all campaigning must stop last Thursday, and that no alcohol can be served in public for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  This last is to insure that no undue influence affects the voting.


The police are cruising the restaurants and bars to make sure that citizens are not drinking alcohol, and are reminding proprietors that they must enforce the no alcohol rule.  Of course, we decadent foreigners, can just keep drinking...


At the polling places, the police and military are abundant to make sure that there is no undue influence on the citizens, that there is availability of enough voting booths, and that there is an orderly line as people wait their turn to vote.  Very refreshing...


Here are some pictures of the event...

This one says it all...How about "transparancy" , How about checking to make sure that ballot box, (or voting machine) is not "pre-loaded", and How about making sure that their is an "audit trail"...Diebold--take note!!!


We arrived about three hours after the voting had begun, and most of the 70 ballot boxes were showing lots of action.  Everything was orderly, with little waiting.  The young soldiers with M-16's mainly acted as information guides, telling the folks where their polling station was located.  As you can see, everyone is happy this is orderly, and glad to see security that ensures fairness.  you may be sure that these M-16's do not go home until the vote is counted, re-counted, and verified...

Here are a few pics of the crowd, just to give you an idea of the response to this voting day...

They come by foot, busses, taxis, and by horseback (no pic)

Of course, all this voting stuff makes one hungry, so here are some pics of folks eating...

and cooking

This fellow has an old "shave ice" machine, which I call snow cones.  That machine has a gadget inside that goes all around the block of ice, and gives him a nice bunch of ice...then he adds a bunch of flavoring and off goes another happy kid...

And here are a couple pics of Rox--in one she is standing in the middle of the Ruta Del Sol (Route of the Sun), which is Ecuador's Pacific Coast Highway...it is totally closed off today, so that everyone can stroll across between voting and vendor stands--the detour goes right by our front gates, so we are seeing a heck of a lot of buses and taxis go by...all filled with voters...

The Chief takes a break while the operation runs as smoothly as silk...

and...you can buy stuff, too...

Posted on Sun, September 28, 2008 at 07:51AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

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