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20 years

Costa Rica’s prisoners were encouraged to vote – with cigarettes

Prisoners received four cigarettes in exchange for casting their votes. (TSE/San Sebastian)

Prisoners received four cigarettes in exchange for casting their votes. (TSE/San Sebastian)

February 3rd, 2014 ( Prison and election officials this year came up with a clever idea to encourage the country’s more than 7,000 prisoners to exercise their right to vote: cigarettes.


Yesterday, in exchange for prisoners’ votes in Costa Rica’s general elections, prisoners were given four cigarettes after casting their ballot behind bars.


The ploy seemed to have worked at the San Sebastian prison.


One prisoner, serving 6 years for robbery, said he wants the next president to remember the incarcerated.  “I want the [new president] to attend to the injustices of those living behind bars.  I’m trying to use the time to go out and adapt to society,” he said.


None of Costa Rica’s presidential candidates campaigned at the prison.


All Costa Rican citizens at least 18 years of age are eligible to vote – including convicts, those behind bars and those with criminal records.


Costa Ricans headed to the polls yesterday to elect their next president, two vice presidents, and 57 members of the Legislative Assembly.


Centrist Luis Guillermo Solis took a surprise lead against ruling party candidate, Johnny Araya but both failed to obtain the necessary 40% vote required to win.  The pair will head for runoff elections on April 6th.


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  • roberto

    PURA…cough – hack -cough…VIDA MAE.

  • disgusted

    Prisoners get congeal visit, Cigarettes, Have cellphones, marihuana, Cocaine and what else you can think of . Why do they allow cigarettes anyway is there not a law about smoking in parking lots in front of buildings beaches parks and such?? Business as usual.

  • expatin paradise

    I agree with “disgusted.” Allowing smoking in public places is supposed to be illegal. Smoking is illegal because of the adverse effect it has on health. Taxpayers have to foot the bill for health problems of prisoners. Exposing non-smoking prisoners to second-hand smoke is cruel and unusual punishment.


    Kalusayakkarage Sunil shared a link.
    January 8
    WHO WILL WIN—–?)Costa Rican general election, 2014 astrology Result —Braking News—29 April 1957 (age 56)

    Who is the next — winng— Mr.Johnny Araya Monge——- Born:29 April 1957 (age 56)
    National Liberation Party (Partido Liberación Naciona
    Popular according to the solar fire
    williaks system. on that day the sun
    rises at about 6.00 clock a.m. an depending on that with an experiments
    the political Party.who comes from
    .. Planetary Positions
    Sun:17 11′ in Libra-Moon:24° 17′ in Virgo-Saturn:19 36 in LibraNeptune:19° 24′ in Sagittarius
    ascendent. The election date
    Mr.Johnny Araya Monge Power.Planet aquries . The luckey number 03
    at their Aries assessments and
    Mars more power full. The election day according to the elevation of
    Latitude and Magnitude sign the well get more vote and be ask the
    next elected National Liberation Party (Partido Liberación Naciona) , led by Mr.Johnny Araya Monge
    ASTROLOGER ——-. K. SUNIL OPTHELLE -Galboda– Waturugama Sri LANKA(+94 033 2278121)
    (K. Sunil Opathella—Master of Astrology) 19 -11-2013(World no1 astrologer and sri lanka Gold’medalist)

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