Se Voto es Libre y Secreto
Your Vote is Free and Secret. This is written on the voting booths in Mexico. July 1 was the Federal election day in Mexico and it was an interesting affair for this American tourist.
A few key differences from American elections:
1. Alcohol can not be sold the day before or the day of the election. Bar shelves are empty, and store empty theirs or put up signs.
2. The lines to vote were loooooooooong! I've stood in a long line (maybe 4 hours) to vote before, but I was inside in air conditioning. The voters in Playa Del Carmen were waiting for hours outside in the sun in mid-ninety degree temperatures. There were vendors along the line selling water, soda, fruit and other foods.
3. Under the watchful eye of the police, there was a march to the voting booth, with over 200 people chanting in unison all the way down the main tourist avenue and to the the voting booths where they made a bit of a scene.
4. There were only two voting booths in the polling place I saw. Yes, there were hundreds of people in line, yes there were multiple lines, and yes, only two people at a time could vote. This was the most surprising part to me, but people still waited in line for their turn in the booth.
A new President was elected and today everyone in this sleepy beach town goes back to their regular lives.