Blog | Election Day (Day 5): Bolivia Election Journal Updates From the Field

By Deborah Hakes, assistant director of public information for The Carter Center.

Marcelo Varela, associate director of the Carter Center’s Americas Program, talks about election day in Bolivia.

Entry One:  Morning

Carter Center observers are traveling to polling stations throughout their assigned regions today to monitor voting, concentrating on the implementation of the biometric registry. They are asking voters if they have greater confidence in the new system and observing if there are any problems, such as people having registered but not being on the list, among other concerns.

At 6:30 a.m. today in Puerto Perez, near the border with Peru, hundreds of voters were gathered at the polling station ahead of its scheduled opening at 8 a.m.

Carter Center Photos: D. Hakes
A polling official assists a voter with finding out to which mesa (voting table) she is assigned to vote in Puerto Perez.

In Puerto Perez, an onlooker watches the poll opening procedures.

Nicolás Fernández Bravo, Carter Center field office director in Bolivia, completes his observation checklist at the polling station in Puerto Perez as a group of women wait in line to vote.

Voting started late in Puerto Perez.  Three women (above) wait for the polls to open.

Polling officials seal the empty ballot boxes in Puerto Perez ahead of voting today.

A man waits in line to vote in Puerto Perez.

In the outskirts of El Alto, one polling station had 18 mesas (voting tables) for people to vote and the lines were long for each.

A man votes in El Alto.

Entry Two: Evening

There were still small lines at an El Alto polling station toward the end of election day. Here Carter Center observers Francisco Diez, Marcelo Varela, and Nicolás Fernández Bravo talk with an election official about how the day has gone.

A worker waits for polls to close at her mesa (voting table) near the end of the day.

After the polls closed, workers begin the counting process.

A poll worker takes out each ballot cast for the presidential vote ahead of counting.

One poll worker reads the party name marked on each ballot (above) and then a second worker holds it up for observers and party representatives to see (below).

Another worker then adds a mark next to the party who received the vote.

The Carter Center will release its preliminary statement on Bolivia’s elections on Monday, Dec. 7. The Center’s delegation was lead by Dr. Jennifer McCoy, director of the Americas Program, and focused on the functioning of the new biometric registry at the polling stations and the general atmosphere that prevailed on election day. The mission was an extension of the Carter Center’s long-term observation mission of Bolivia’s biometric voter registration.

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