The town that casts its vote in 26 seconds and breaks its own record, and other stories

The seven voters registered in the municipality of La Rioja in Villaroya completed voting in Sunday’s general election in 26 seconds, three short of their record in the May 28 municipal and regional elections.

This small municipality in La Rioja Baja stopped the timer for the 2019 general election at 32 seconds and 25 hundredths. Those 26 seconds would have been less if a voter had not dropped one of the ballots on the table before placing them in the ballot box.

Great expectations

The four Villaroya voters who did not participate in the table were under more pressure than ever to pass their marks, since all three voted in the last table.

Because, unlike previous elections, like this one in the summer, Villarroya is “full” of families who have a home in the city and come during the summer period from Logroño, Arnedo and other municipalities of La Rioja where the descendants of the municipality immigrated.

Rodrigo Saenz Galilea, the last registered resident of the town, voted for the first time in the general election in Villaroya.

EFE / Fernando Diaz

For this reason, about forty people gathered around the voting table, including several children, who waited for the secretary, Clara Martínez, to give the signal to the chairperson of the table to announce the opening of voting.

Immediately after that, the four began the process, including an anecdote, since the Justice of the Peace, Jesús Garrido, who was flirting with the ballot papers before the voting began, dropped one on the table and lost a few seconds in catching it.

small accident

But despite this, the clock stopped at 26 seconds, which is a mark that surpasses the previous general elections by six, and the municipal and regional elections on May 28 by three.

Immediately after closing the table, the secretary contacted the government delegation in La Rioja and received permission to complete the elections in the municipality.

The moment Villarroya's table was set and ready to break the record

The moment Villarroya’s table was set and ready to break the record

EFE / Fernando Diaz

And as soon as the vote was over, the party began, with all those now residing in the city, even if they were not included in the census, to share coffee and pastries and prepare a meal of crumbs that would bring everyone together, again, as in every vote, to put an end to the tradition of this municipality of Rioja, considered the fastest in Spain to vote.

Vilaroyah’s youngest voter, Bilarabad, who is in her 40s, told EFE that the “key” to what happens in her town on every election call is that “everyone is well aware that things are going well and, moreover, since we all had to be a chairman or a member at some point, we are clear about what needs to be done.”

“We’re filmed, we know what time we have to be, that we have to do the ballots,” he elaborated.

More than the record, we’d like there to be a generational change in the city.”

However, it did have the effect, “More than the record, we’d like there to be a generational change in the city” because “we don’t want to disappear and be absorbed by a larger borough council.”

“At the moment – he emphasized – what we need is to improve internet and mobile coverage so that better news can be delivered, like today.”

After Villarroya, Amurrio (Álava) stars in another tale so far this morning. It is not known why, but at 10:15 am the only schedule left to be made in all of Spain corresponds to this city. And it just so happens to be the hometown of Santiago Abascal, the candidate for this general election for Fox.

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The head of government and Socialist candidate for re-election, Pedro Sanchez, exercises his right to vote, accompanied by his wife, Begonia Gomez

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