“There are more people than in the war,” says Carlos, a doorman at a farm near Atocha, when he saw the mobilization of voters. Polling stations open with long lines at the gates. Between ten and twelve, those in charge of the centers leave an expedited route for the elderly. Nobody complains. But politicians like Mayor Almeida or the candidates Iglesias and Gabilondo have had to wait their turn, in Madrid or in Galapagar. The PSOE leader waited 45 minutes, ballot in one hand, the other in his pocket. “A party for democracy,” he says at 12:15, when he leaves the Joaquín Turina school in Arturo Soria. He was the last of the would-be presidents of Madrid to cast his ballot. Only Mónica García did it by mail.
In the Virgen de Atocha and San Isidoro schools, in the Retiro area, there are a hundred people in each one, although with the social distance the lines go around the block. “Logic is the worst of the councilors”, urges an older man, who has just joined his, to vote.
The wait is little, even if a forecaster takes his book. Fast forward. Until arriving at the entrance, about 15 minutes, says a voter. Security measures against the pandemic is the only exception in these first minutes of voting. A person at the door offers replacement masks and hydro-alcohol. There are no signs of anxiety. Violence seems exclusive to political parties.
In San Fernando de Henares, the wait could reach 45 minutes, according to Ricardo, a 49-year-old taxi driver, who has traveled the city since eight in the morning. “I’ve never seen these queues all the time,” he says. «There is no electoral environment. The day is good, sunny, but we are working and there is no promenade or bar after voting ». In Ciudad Lineal, Chamberí, Atocha … the schools continue near noon with the lines of people, as can be seen in a tour through the streets of Madrid.
“I will vote at lunchtime,” says Ricardo, a common response among shop assistants, restaurant employees and other workers who have not come first thing in the morning. What could be surprising when compared to other choices does not appeal to pedestrians: health safety. In some centers, they take extreme precautions, such as in San Agustín de Guadalix, on the outskirts of the capital, they give a second mask to voters, so that they can put it on before entering the school.
Nudity against the wall
The anecdote takes place in the voting center of the candidate Monasterio, where five Femen activists are waiting for her, with their torso uncovered, as usual, and messages against the extreme right. “It is not patriotism, it is fascism,” they chant. The police intervene. Against the wall, hands up. Nipples and chin against the concrete. They don’t show too much opposition, but they don’t keep quiet. They drop leaflets and proclamations. Monastery arrives in a timely manner after they have been arrested. He picks up the pamphlets, throws them in the bin. An almost theatrical act, which “has not reached violence”, indicates a witness, in which feminists appear to be props for a mini campaign act. “They do not respect the neighbors or the ideas of others,” declares Monastery in a white suit and a black mask.
The other candidates vote without irruption. “Today is the day,” said Bal, leaving his center in Mirasierra, behind his orange mask. The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, takes his time to appear at the Colegio del Pilar. After twelve o’clock he goes to leave his vote.
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