I was already the President!!!

Chronicle of a European election day full of technology

Photo: Luís Forra/Lusa

Not everyone can boast about this, but I can. It passed quickly, it was only for one day, but I was President – ​​of a polling station in these European elections.

It doesn't seem like a big deal, but my civic spirit goes back a long way and I remember, right after the 25th of April, volunteering to be part of the polling stations, at a time when nothing was received. When they started paying the table members, I stopped finding it funny and gave way to others.

Now, in my retired state and knowing how difficult it is to find staff for the tables, even if I pay, I volunteered and, perhaps due to my advanced age, they immediately appointed me President. And it's a good thing I'm in good physical shape, because the bag with the electoral material weighs about 10 kilos!

Let's now turn to the present case, these last European elections which, according to the documentation received, meant starting at 6 am and lasting until 22 pm. For this day of work, the desk staff will receive around 50 euros, so the dose of civility has to be greater than the financial motivation.

Furthermore, European elections are much thinner. Until now, the electoral rolls were on paper, now they are virtual and computerized! This is so modern that we had the right to a training day, where we tested the system. It went well, I even tried to vote three times with my citizenship card, just to test, but the system didn't let me, it only accepted it the first time.

On Sunday, I took the bag with the material and went to the voting section where there were already a number of zombies, that is, the people at the tables.

When the doors to the polling place opened, at 6 am sharp, I went to the section where the TAI (IT support technician) was already starting to assemble the computers. As there were only two members at the table, we waited and the third arrived, which allowed us to form the table, and the fourth arrived, which gave us the chance to make a stopover for lunch (I remember that there must always be three members at the table). table).

Everything prepared, we took care of the early votes, and waited for the voters. Our perspective was that we would have a very low turnout, due to several factors, namely the tradition of low voting in the European elections.

There was an extra factor for the poor presence at my table: we were in a place where, to get there, the voter passed by other tables and, obviously, voted right there. In other words, only those faithful who remembered where they had voted last time would come to us, or those whom we would gather together because, every now and then, one of us would go. acquire customers to tables that had queers, advertising that, at our table, there was no one in front and they were leaving quickly.

The computer system behaved well, with the exception of the commotion when it failed around midday, but everything was resolved, allowing mobile voting – and we had a lot of people on vacation in the Algarve voting! And once again I tried to vote twice, but the system wouldn't let me.

Around 19 pm, as the polls closed, the excitement increased, we proceeded according to the rules, we counted the votes, everything went right, we filled out the paperwork and I went to deliver everything to the Chamber.

A word to my table colleagues: we were spectacular, friendly, competent, in other words, a true team that is already ready to go to the next elections.

In short: Civic duty fulfilled!!!


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