Remember when you were in school and tried hold elections but things invariably went very wrong? Well, that’s kind of what happened yesterday with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) when the organization tried to vote for its new leader.
The candidates, San Lorenzo football club vice president and media personality Marcelo Tinelli and incumbent AFA head Luis Segura were both confident that they would win. But neither of them did. The votes were tallied and came out as a 38-38 draw — with 75 voters.
For those of you a little rusty in the old math department, this means there were 76 votes instead of 75. Needless to say, this is somewhat of an embarrassment, especially considering that the General Inspection of Justice (IGJ) was there to make sure that the elections went smoothly.
Watch the amazing footage below to see the men’s reactions once they’ve finished tallying the votes. “Son of a bitch, 38-38, now what do we do?” is overheard as one literally face-palms.
So what happened? Just like in the general elections, each candidate has his own ballot. So in this case, there were two ballot piles: one with Tinelli ballots, and one with Seguro ballots. Voters had to grab an envelope, go to the dark room, choose a ballot from one of the two piles, drop it in the envelope and then leave it in the ballot box.
But here was one of the issues:
“The Supervisory Board decided to not count the votes one by one to avoid leaks and to keep everything a secret until the last minute,” explained Gerardo Ganly, an IGJ observer.
This means that once everyone had voted, the vote talliers placed the ballots in two separate piles, one for each candidate, without actually counting them. Only once all the votes had been cast and separated into two piles were they counted, meaning that when the vote talliers realized there was one vote too many, there was no way of knowing why this had happened. Regardless, the elections were cancelled and now the AFA has to figure out what to do next.
These elections were set to be historic, the first since 1991, but they became memorable for a completely different reason. They were still better than the 2011 FIFA election, I suppose, where Sepp Blatter was the only candidate. However, this failed election does provide another argument to reform our rather confusing electoral system in favor of a single ballot, which would not present this kind of problem.
What’s next? Well, we don’t really know. AFA doesn’t really know. The idea is to have another election but there are no indications thus far on how, when and where. Tinelli and Segura will have to meet and decide what to do.
Meanwhile on Twitter, #Papelonazo (papelón meaning embarassment and papelonazo a major embarassment) has become a Trending Topic.
— Mini Tana (@mini_tana) December 4, 2015
Remember Vicky Xipolitakis’ voting fail?
— Mabeeel Carp? (@MabyMaizares) December 4, 2015
“One vote per envelope.” “Hey, hey, slow down, nerd”
— Hugo Martín Argenta (@HugoArgentaok) December 4, 2015
And of course, confused John Travolta made it on the scene, blending in perfectly with everyone else.