Snorkel and flippers: How one man’s election day escapade highlighted Spain’s resentment at being forced to vote during the holidays

VOTERS and election operators were treated to a comedic sight on a most serious day in Spanish electoral politics: a man coming in to vote wearing flippers, snorkel and clutching a cool box.

Sunday’s snap general election, held in high summer on the day of rest, provoked the ire of one lottery salesman irked that he had been dragged away from the beach to vote.

Jorge, known for his quirky sense of humour, made his splashy entrance at the Manuel Fernandez school polling station in Malaga around 10am to bemused onlookers.

Malagueño Jorge made quite the entrance when he went to his local polling booth to vote

He had appeared earlier requesting permission from police to turn up dressed as a clown – with his face clearly visible – for his election-day protest.

But authorities seemed nonplussed about the idea. Unfazed, Jorge hatched a brilliant alternative plan. 

Instead he returned in full beach attire, including Hawaiian shirt, and calmly stomped over to the voting tables.

snorkel vote election
Witnesses reported that he behaved impeccably as he calmly fulfilled his democratic duty

From there, he filled in his vote and deposited it in the voting box, and went on his way – presumably back to the beach.

“The man behaved impeccably,” one witness observed. 

“He entered the polling station silently, collected his ballot paper, cast his vote, and left without a fuss.”  

The choice of July 23 raised much ire among the opposition and voters, given that July is traditionally a time when many Spaniards take their vacations. 

The date prompted record numbers of postal votes to be cast and also disrupted the summer plans of those who were called up to man the polling booths. 

It could get worse for Jorge, however. After the inconclusive result of yesterday’s vote, however, a repeat poll could fall around an even more inconvenient date: Christmas.

The conservative Popular Party won the elections on Sunday but fell well short of a majority, even with the support of far-right Vox.

It was far from clear on Monday as to what will happen next, with a repeat Socialist-led administration possible provided that Sanchez can muster the support of smaller groups. 


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