4.01.2013

Electing a Village Official [PHOTOS]

At six in the morning, the village leaders prepare the plan for the day's election.  All the workers have convened at this meeting.  Government functionaries divide into small groups with specific responsibilities.

The candidates have posted their commitments on the wall.  Some people look on from afar, others seize the last opportunity to make endorsements.  Beneath what seems to be a tranquil form of order, there is a teeming sense of competition.
The election has not officially started, but people have already gotten an early start to scramble for a place in line at the front of the ranks.
A vote-counting box made of thick steel.
Based on the villagers' endorsement, this election official will oversee the election.

In the 35°C heat, the voters' emotions are running high, pushing and shoving while they wait.
Neither this worker, manning the first ID checking booth outside the gate, nor the voters trust one another, so a village leader himself submits to the check in order to avoid a conflict.
A camera takes a video of all the people who are entering in order to vote.
A 93-year-old elder is being helped to the voting area.
Voting while carrying a child.
Only trusted people can vote in the stead of others.
Young people who have left for work return to vote by secret ballot.
Election monitors.
As soon as the voting has finished, workers will begin the next segment.  The vote box will be checked once again, opening it up to count the votes.
The votes are counted, and it is announced that "1,237 ballots were issued, and 1,236 votes were cast."
After a roll call and counting of the votes, the counting of the votes is complete.
After the count, a video camera makes a tape of the record for future reference.
The election has commenced, and the newly elected Village Committee Director says that starting from today he will become the kind of leader that will deliver to the villagers the good life.

Photos and text by Wang Jinyuan.  Translations by Jonathan Alpart.

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