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Give Peace a Chance: Nicaragua's 2006 Presidential Elections (Carter Center Slideshow)

  • The Carter Center deployed a 62-member delegation to observe Nicaragua’s 2006 election. Carter Center observers David Evans and Sandra Flores, a French citizen, were based in Rio San Juan, which shares its river and border with Costa Rica. They arrived in the region via small plane on a muddy landing strip. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans | Carter Center Slideshow (2006)

  • Evans and Flores often traveled by boat along the San Juan River because many villages were inaccessible by road. As Carter Center mid-term observers, the pair analyzed election laws, assessed voter education and registration processes, and evaluated fairness in campaigns. They witnessed events before, during, and after elections took place, and their observations combined with those of all other observers formed the basis for the election report generated by The Carter Center. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • Rio San Juan has a hot and humid tropical climate with lush jungles, so many voting centers were only accessible via boat or long stretches of bumpy dirt roads. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D.Evans

  • Local election officials review voting procedures in a schoolyard Juntas Receptora de Voto (JRV), or polling station. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • Voters line up at their JRV, or polling station. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • Carter Center observer Sandra Flores confers with observers from a Latin American observation group in a small village. They are at the distribution point for poll materials and the seated men are waiting to transport the materials, back to their local polling centers for election day. Police look on from the porch of the police station next door. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • Electoral police guard the JRV’s door while citizens review voter registration rolls posted outside of each voting “mesa” prior to voting. All Photos:The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • A citizen casts his vote at his JRV, located in a school. Carter Center observers visited 412 polling stations throughout the country on election day. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • Evans observed that the number of women voting on election day in the Rio San Juan region seemed about equal to the number of men. Women came with their spouses, families, alone, or in small groups. He noticed that some women who were pregnant, older, or carrying infants brought chairs to sit on while they waited to vote, especially those waiting hours in the long lines when the JRVs first opened. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • A citizen prepares to vote; her registration is first checked on the voter–registration list. The presence of impartial election observers deters interference or fraud in the voting process, and reassures voters that they can safely and secretly cast their ballots and that vote tabulation will be conducted without tampering. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • A citizen has her thumb painted with indelible ink after voting to dissuade repeat voting. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • In Rio San Juan, the ballot counting and post–election vote–ratification processes were complex and long, with each day’s schedule stretching until well past midnight until finally the ballots and forms were loaded into military trucks and taken to Managua. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • Evans and Flores briefly traveled to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, after the election to meet up with other Carter Center observers. Here citizens celebrate the election of Daniel Ortega in the streets of Managua on Nov. 7, 2006, by smiling, giving the "V" for victory sign, and waving Sandinista flags. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans

  • A crowd celebrates the election of Daniel Ortega in the lighted fountain of the Plaza Rubén Dario in Managua, Nicaragua, on Nov. 7, 2006. Ortega’s campaign song, to the tune of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” could be heard throughout the city. All Photos: The Carter Center/ D. Evans