Wednesday, March 18

Voting on the day of the referendum

Before going to vote today, I was rather questioning the whole process, and wasn't sure whether I should really do it. The following are just some thoughts I had: 

- If I vote, will it make any difference or change anything- after all, given the fact there were around 20 questions, and the average time voters were spending was around 1min (Radio Azadliq observed this morning), and it took me about 10 minutes to go through the whole thing, how many people spent as much time as I did? Actually reading each proposed amendment and marking "yes" or "no" boxes? (And I am sure that not everyone knew each constitutional article as a whole to even know what the amendments made were all about).

- If I don't vote, will my vote be used- from my past experience I have seen personally how my father's name would be left uncrossed (as well as mine when I wasn't here during 2005 parliamentary elections), despite the fact me or my mother telling "people in charge" that he wasn't living in Azerbaijan- all proved with official papers (I was prepared to start an argument today at the poling station where I was casting my ballot if my father's name was on the list again, fortunately there was no drama as his name wasn't there).

According to Radio Azadliq (Liberty) in Azerbaijan, there have been already a number of violations across the country since the start of the voting. Not surprised, there will be many more. Even at the station where I was voting, the so called "observers" were sitting with their blank faces, some talking on the phone, some looking at the voters, I didn't see any foreign observers. And aren't the voters supposed to get "inked" after they cast their ballots? 

Anyway, I think the results are already obvious, in fact they were obvious from the beginning but who knows, maybe I am wrong and the turnout will be completely different?! We'll see...

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