Participation in the elections to the Community of Madrid had exceeded 69%, 11 points more than in 2019, when there was still an hour left for the polls to close. This has been accounted for by the long queues that have occurred since early in the morning in most polling stations, largely due to distancing measures due to the coronavirus and the entry and exit protocols and the capacity of the premises. .
Participation reaches 69%
Until 8:00 p.m., 5,112,658 people were called to vote, with the right to be absent up to four hours from their jobs without deducting it from their salary. The appointment, key to national politics, was held on a weekday and in the middle of the pandemic, with an incidence in Madrid of 343 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 97 above the danger threshold. Neither one issue nor the other have discouraged participation.
At 7:00 p.m. it was higher than 69.2%. This figure is 11 points above the last elections, those of 2019, at the same time (58.13%). “We have no data that there has been any incident,” said Enrique López, Minister of Justice, during a press conference from the Data Center. “Compliance with the covid standards has been exquisite by citizens.”
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The vote of the candidates
The first candidate to vote was that of Unidos Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, who deposited his ballot at 10.10 am at La Navata school, in Galapagar, after more than 30 minutes of waiting. “We are risking stopping the feet of lies and hatred, the extreme right, which wants to destroy public services,” he said on leaving the center.
At the head of the Vox list, Rocío Monasterio, several Femen activists wanted to receive her at her school with naked torso shouting “it’s not patriotism, it’s fascism” and “to fascism, neither vote nor permission”. They were arrested before the arrival of the ultra party candidate. “The streets have to be clean and orderly. They are not going to shut us up ”, declared Monastery as he left the school as he picked up from the ground and threw the leaflets left by the women into the trash. At 10.35, the head of the PP list, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, voted at the La Inmaculada-Marillac school, who thanked the people of Madrid who vote “in elections that the whole country is pending.” “Voting is safe. I encourage you to participate ”, he added.
Photogallery: The election day in Madrid on 4-M, in images
“To cast a vote is moderation, good sense and to stop shouting,” said Edmundo Bal, from Ciudadanos, at the Alfredo Kraus cultural center. Mónica García, from Más Madrid, voted by mail, but accompanied her father. “Today can be a historic day, we can turn applause into votes. Today many Madrilenians are waiting to see the good to know, “he said at the Montserrat school. At 11.30 the last candidate of the represented parties, Ángel Gabilondo, who voted at around 12.00, stood in line at the Joaquín Turina school. At the exit, he encouraged people to participate with “enthusiasm and conviction in the celebration of democracy.”
Long lines since the opening of the schools
The queues for this election day in Madrid began to form early. There were already at nine in the morning, with the start of the schools, they have continued later and still continued in the early afternoon in many voting centers. But the huge lines, caused in part by the safety distance to be maintained and anticovid protocols, are moving fast. They have a waiting time below half an hour in 77% of schools, according to official data.
There, parents were seen holding hands with their young children, old people and young people with the ballot prepared to run away. Maribel, 48, stood at 8.50 in the Vázquez de Mella, in the La Latina neighborhood: “I said at work that I was coming in later today and without problem.” In 20 minutes, he had finished “the most important moment of Tuesday, of the week and of the next two years.” In Puente de Vallecas, the queues grew as it approached ten in the morning. From this time until noon, it was recommended to give way to the elderly, but there were voters of all ages, so the Municipal Police separated the elderly from the rest. The line was one hour long, but no one was leaving.
Nor in Juan de la Cierva, in Arganzuela, where two young women distributed surgical masks at noon. Those who were entering, opened them, deposited the plastic in the container at the entrance and placed them on the ones they were carrying. Outside, the queue went around the entire block between young people, women in wheelchairs led by their caregivers, the elderly with walkers and workers in different overalls or uniforms, who already had the vote in hand. “Better now than later, that also later the people who are sick will come,” said Ana María, who has gone to accompany her mother.
This last time slot, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., was in principle indicated as preferred for those infected by covid or suspected of being, as specified by the Government of the Community in the protocol that it activated for this May 4. However, it is not exclusive for the rest of the population: all those who had not yet been able to vote could do so until the closing of the polling stations. The regional government also explained this morning that, at the close of the day, those who were still in the queue, could deposit the ballot.
Since the middle of this afternoon, the application of the regional government that it allowed to consult the influx of people in each place in real time, stopped doing it. Around 6:00 p.m., that function was no longer operational. According to a spokeswoman for the regional Executive, “it was the forecast that was had, because the voting is over and the time at which the school closes is already reported.” At 20.00. Now, it’s time for the scrutiny.
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With information from Berta Ferrero, Luis de Vega, Manuel Viejo, Nicholas Dale, Idoia Ugarte, Diego Estébanez and Miguel Cantón.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.