The November 28th, 2013, political election in Honduras was perhaps the most transparent, civilized and organized of all times; at least this was my personal experience as an active participant in the political process.
I was designated by one of the local mayoral candidate to sit as a representative at the polling table in the town of Calabash Bight, in the municipality of Santos Guardiola, Roatan.
As part of a sixteen member team chosen to sit at that particular table, my responsibilities, and that off every other member at the table, was to insure that the laws of our political systems were followed and that the voters had the appropriate tools and privacy to cast their vote in a secured and non-threatening setting.
This was my first time working at a polling table and I did not know what to expect, but was advised to remain awake and alert at all time, as elections are either won or lost at the polling tables. Most Hondurans believe that the cheating and stealing of votes takes place at the polling table.
We (the members of the polling table) started the day by setting-up the voting tables, signing the appropriate documentation, swearing-in and declaring the table open for voting.
I remained awake and alert as individuals from the small community of Calabash Bight came out; a couple of them in wheel chair and most on foot, to exercise their right and freedom to vote for their chosen candidates. Witnessing this very important process from the point of view of an active participant at the polling table was both encouraging and inspiring.
My experience at the poll was one of tranquility, cordiality and liberty: every member at the table was friendly and polite to one another and even shared food and drinks. The people of calabash Bight were kind, hospitable and provided us with breakfast.
At the end of the day, the counting of the votes went off without a hitch; there were a few heated moments that were resolved quickly and collectively; it was great to see democracy in action.
Until recently I’ve had a great disdain for the political process and the elections in general, but my recent participation at the elections has thought me that if the rules and regulation set forth by the electoral court system are followed, and the representatives at the electoral tables are honest and fair, the process can work and the voices of the voters can be heard.
My experienced at the electoral polling table this past November was not something I expected, but it was something I will never forget. The right to vote and the freedom to choose our elected officials is something our constitution provides, and it’s worth preserving. ! Que viva Honduras y la democracia mundial!
By Wilford James