Ballots ready for Nov. 4 elections

Democracia…y que!? The ballots are ready for Nov. 4, but is Nicaragua? (photo/ CSE)

(posted Oct. 10, 7:00 a.m.)- Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) announced Tuesday evening that the 5.5 million municipal electoral ballots were printed in record time and are ready for delivery to voting centers in 153 municipalities across the country.

The ballots were printed by Artes Digitales, S.A. (ARDISA), a Managua-based printing company that won the government contract for an undetermined amount of taxpayer money and apparently without any public bidding process, according to La Prensa.

The ballots, which were printed in record time, will be packaged next week for delivery to the 13,340 voting centers across the country for the Nov. 4 poll. Each voter will get two ballots—one to elect their mayor and vice mayor, and one to elect an unruly herd of city council representatives.

For the first time in Nicaragua’s modern democratic history, the ballots were printed without pictures of the candidates. The move, which was criticized by the opposition and celebrated by the Sandinistas, was announced as a “cost-saving” measure. But since the CSE has not said how much it cost to print the ballots, voters will just have to take their word for it.