SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) Yesterday, Jordan High School was the polling place for Chileans living in Utah who registered to vote in the country’s presidential election. Today, Roberto Jiminez, Jordan High Assistant Principal, joined Emily Clark to talk about this historic vote.
Thanks to connections Jordan High Assistant Principal Roberto Jimenez has in the Chilean community, the Canyons District school, located in Sandy, was asked to serve as the polling station for Chileans here in Utah who wanted a cast a ballot in the July 2 primaries and this Sunday’s general election. Because the Chilean president is elected by the absolute majority of valid votes, if no candidate obtains such a majority a special runoff between the two candidates with the most votes will be held Sunday, Dec. 17.
This is the first election in the history of Chile in which Chileans are permitted to vote from abroad. A law enacted in 2016 gave the 450,000 Chileans residing abroad the right to vote in presidential primaries, national referendums and first and second round presidential elections. Jordan High also hosted the presidential primary elections on July 2.
There are some 123 Chilean citizens living in Utah who have gone through the voter-registration process to vote in this election. The vote required a room big enough to have a table for three officials from the consulate and a voting booth that is far enough away from the officials to guarantee privacy. The vote started at 7 a.m. and went until about 9:30 p.m. (A photo of the photo booth is attached.)
Jimenez says it’s important for everyone, not just students, to encourage democratic votes in all parts of the world. I also think it’s important for everyone to see that Chileans from all parts of the state traveled many miles, in some cases they had to drive hours, just to cast a ballot in the presidential election.
For more on Jordan High School or the Canyons School District, visit CanyonsDistrict.org.