A customer of ours has been visiting Equador for the past couple of months and has sent us this interesting news update.
This Sunday, Ecuador holds local elections for mayor and legislators in many towns, including Cuenca. It is interesting as a visitor to see how elections are handled here. All campaigning must cease 48 hours before election day, and a curfew is set for midnight Saturday, with election day beginning the next morning. After midnight Saturday you cannot expect a cab to transport you home. Even foreign residents without citizenship here are allowed to vote if they have one of 6 or 7 types of cedulla, which is a kind of a classification that allows them to live here more than the typical 3 month tourist visa. Most are automatically registered on the voting rolls when they achieve their cedulla, and can log onto a government website to check their registration. We’re here on a tourist visa, so we can’t participate, but it is interesting to watch. Trucks trundle through neighborhoods with loudspeakers blaring support for candidates, and neighborhoods see impromptu parades for one party or another. Bright green posters are everywhere.
Even bikes are marshaled to the task. We noticed a couple of campaigners on identical bright green bikes with boxy displays mounted on the back where they carry a supply of brochures. They were parked at the Kiosk de Tres Puentes, a little store close to a bridge across the Yanuncay River, near where we are staying. The next day we found the bikes parked on opposite corners near the bridge, unattended, like bookends on the boulevard. I took a couple of photos, attached.