|I think it's called Political Recycling|
Just the other day, Raul Salinas was sworn in for his second term as Mayor of Laredo, Texas. After Salinas hammed it up for the cameras, as he's known to do, his wife said a few words as well. As Ms. Salinas thanked various parties for their help in her husband's successful campaign, she also felt it appropriate to thank "the canoneros". As fellow blogger KeyRose stated, that was a bit of a surprise. I, too, was under the impression that canoneros are something that everyone knows and talks about- but not in front of a TV audience.
Here's my understanding of how the canoneros do their jobs. They are contacted by certain politicans and are made aware of what candidate they are to get out the vote for. Then, they usually go and contact residents from the barrios and tell them that they will pick them up and take them to vote. They are also told, of course, who they should vote for. Now, I think the canonero gets paid by the votes delivered. For example if they pick up and deliver 30 votes and they're paid, say $30 dollars a vote- that's $900. I don't think the voters themselves get anything- except perhaps a pachanga.
It seems, including during this last election, that early voting is the period during which most of this activity goes on. I noticed that some candidates really piled up the votes when early county was tabulated. However, on election day, the tallies were much closer. The same thing happend during the runoffs. It was that long, early voting period during which most of the "delivered votes" were secured.
I know this is not moral, but is it even legal? As many irregularities as the Webb County Elections Division has, there's no way they can (nor would) put an end to this shameful assault on our electoral process.