Twelve hours after voting was supposed to open at the Jean Calvin school, the courtyard was still full of people, waiting. “They brought some voting papers around two o’clock” one man told me, “but they ran-out again by 4”. As rain drizzled down and the light faded, a small man hurried past, carrying a stack of ballot papers into the officials’ office. People waited, patiently, their arms folded, to exercise their right to vote.
Across town, where the prescribed twelve hours of voting had passed, offices were closed-up. Occasionally, someone would arrive and hammer on the door, claiming that they hadn’t been able to vote (this station, too, ran out of papers it seemed).
But the urns were opened, emptying the ballots onto the floor for the counting to begin. It would a long night, under the light of small lamps.
And it had been a long day: attacks on trucks delivering ballot papers, attacks on a voting station, with many unable to vote due to logistical problems. The calls of fraud were already becoming audible by disgruntled election-witnesses, unable to perform their job, they claimed.