This morning, I joined more than 77 million Mexicans who were eligible to do something civic. I walked two blocks over to the local public elementary school, where the voting polls would be set up. Realizing that I had never voted live and in living color even in Los Estados Unidos, opting always for the easier method of voting early or absentee, much less in Mexico, I was ready for a novel and exciting experience. Right. I didn’t vote, on purpose, in the last Estadounidense presidential election.
There wasn’t exactly a crowd at the polls. The schoolyard held exactly five people looking for which classroom to enter. A guy wearing a PRD button helpfully looked at my voting credential and told me to go to the room designated for people whose names begin with “J.” He obviously was either trying to trick me or couldn’t read, because the big sign at each classroom revealed that people with last names from Leyva to Ponce should go here and those with last names ranging from Ponce de Leon to Zorro de Zavala were to go there.
A fellow lettuce farmer whose last name fell in the same lot as mine joined me, and we chat about our crops while we wait to be admitted. At the desk, I hand over my credential to the functionary, who announces my name out loud, amazingly pronouncing it correctly, while she thumbs through the book where the photos of each eligible vote are printed. Entering the supersecret voting booth, I mark my ballot with a dull nub of a pencil, fold it, exit, and deposit it into the hermetically sealed plastic carton.
I did not vote PAN. I did not vote PRI. I did not vote PRD. I did not vote for any party represented on the ballot. I voted for no one. Nulo. En blanco.