We are now coming to the end of this year 2016. It has been a memorable year for us in many ways. As an Italian citizen, I was eligible to vote in this country, once I attained citizenship. In prior elections, I did not vote, feeling that I was not informed enough to make thoughtful decisions. This year I read a lot about the referendum, talked to my other Italian friends, read both Italian and English newspapers and finally made my decision. I went to the commune to get my Tessera Elettorale, which gave my voting location and I went to the voting polls and voted for the first time. It was actually quite exhilerating, and I very much felt part of this community. I received a stamped booklet that marked that I voted. I need to keep this booklet for future elections to show my eligibility. I will be issued a new card once I pass my 16th election!
Otherwise the voting process is quite similar to that in the U.S. The Renzi referendum was clearly not popular with the Italians. They thought he put too many things in one amendment and did not trust him not to turn into another Mussolini. They have experience with this so I appreciate their point of view. As you can imagine, the Italians are riveted by the American elections. Trying to explain Trump to them is as impossible as trying to explain it to myself. Democracy is a messy thing.