Sunday, November 09, 2014
9N. The Catalan ersatz referendum. Midday chronicle
By 8.15 h. I was at one of the polling stations. They have been set in public High School buildings. Those buildings belong to the state, in Catalonia: the Generalitat. In small town the polling stations are in the town hall or the “civic centers”, usually used for senior citizens and cultural activities.
The General State Attorney had warned about the use of those buildings, and threatened school head masters and principals with administrative punishments if they open the centers. The way around it was to hand the keys to an unidentified “volunteer” to open the gates.
Police was supposed to identify whoever open the premises, but they were nowhere to be seen. You could see police cruisers diving by and just waving salutes from inside the cars.
Somebody (opposers to the polls) had try to inject silicon in the gates locks of the schools. However many had made a provision for that dabbing vaseline to the locks so the silicon could not stick. No problem there.
We went into the school as the managers of the polling station were giving the final instructions to the volunteers at the tables, Wi-Fi passwords and such.
Outside a long cue of would-be voters had been forming. More than 200 on my count and growing.
At 9 o’clock sharp the doors opened and the first voters were greeted with a warm applause of the volunteers.
We took the international observers to five different polling stations. They were two ladies from Scotland; one a member of the Scottish National Party and the other a member of the International Convention for European Citizens, a political organisation based in Brussels that watches over EU citizens rights. They were impressed by the order and the civic mood.
Not a single incident. Cheerful faces and restrained enthusiasm. We were voting!!
Somewhere before lunch I did a spot check in different tables and the mean number of votes registered was around 260. They should reach 300 easily by the end of the day. With more of 6000 tables in the whole country, you could figure out a general show close to 1.8 million voters. May be more.