I’m writing this about 4 1/2 hours before the polls close. This morning, I accompanied my relatives to the polls held in the elementary school across the street.
I can report that business was brisk in that school, with several polls held there and a steady stream of couples and elderly folk.
There were lots of polling officials, and even police. They were there to enforce a few regulations, including a ban on pictures of the actual voting process.
So you wouldn’t be too surprised that I managed anyway to take a quick bad picture. It shows officials on the right, the ballot boxes in the middle (one for the lower house, one for the senate), and the private booths on the left, covered in flag coloured banners, where people try to figure out which party list to vote for. Each ‘ballot’ is a booklet of about a dozen pages.
Of interest is that every Romanian is issued an identity card, which must be shown in order to vote. It is scanned, and the fact that you have showed up to vote is stored centrally. And if you try to show a second time to vote, you are prevented. No wonder the international organizations are not keen to spend money to monitor the election process here…the Romanian election process seems to have some better safeguards than some countries countries we know.
As far as hard news goes, on election day before the polls close, there is really nothing to say. I can’t really tell if turnout is higher than normal, and exit poll results are banned until polling closes.
While the absence of content doesn’t prevent the news channels from yammering all day long, I will sign off until there are results!