After I was checked in, I was given an empty envelope and told to walk into a room. I was confused at first because I was expecting to find computerized ballots. The last U.S. election I voted in had those, but I'm afraid I jumped the gun on my expectations about the voting system here.
There was a table with flyers. Each flyer represented the political party available for voting. I already knew who I was going to pick since I'd been doing research in anticipation of the upcoming election. So I grabbed the flyer with the representative of my choice, folded it and placed it inside the envelope. I had to use spit to seal the envelope. I'd forgotten how nasty envelope glue tasted like. Too bad I couldn't e-mail my vote.
With the sealed envelope, I left the room and headed back to the table.
I slipped my sealed voting envelope inside the ballot box. Then I signed my name and received a voting slip. Now I have to keep this voting slip for six months until the voting records are updated to show that I did in fact vote.
Why is the voting slip important? As I stated, voting is a serious thing in Argentina. If I want to apply for a credit card or even a job, I need to show proof that I've voted.
I'd like to point out that if for whatever reason, a voter doesn't agree with any nominee, they can choose to submit an empty envelope into the voting ballot, but the voter (if you're a citizen) must present themselves on election day.
Argentina offers foreigners, who are legal residents, the chance to vote. This is a rare privilege. If you’re going to live, work and study here, take advantage of having your voice heard. After all, you're not just benefiting the country you're in; you're benefiting your way of life as well.
Oh and in case you were wondering who I was voting for ... shhh! I’m not telling.