The call to tell Hussein Abdullah Barsi his son had been killed came as he and his friends were debating how to vote.
A helicopter carrying election material had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade; the pilot managed an emergency landing, but the 22-year-old student did not survive his injuries.
Abdullah Hussein died by the hands of those in eastern Libya who dispute the legitimacy of the first elections in "Free Libya" for half a century and have declared they will not recognise the results.
"He worked getting aide to poor families during the fighting last year, my son. He had volunteered for election work because it was the right thing to do," said his father, in Benghazi. "Abdullah wanted to do something for the future, the people who murdered him are opposed to progress in our country."
The opponents of the election, going by the collective term of "federalists", showed on polling day that they were organised as well as armed.
The Independent followed flatbed trucks and cars full of activists, some carrying placards, others Kalashnikovs, a few rocket-propelled grenade launchers, as they stormed polling stations, destroying ballot boxes and papers.
There were fights and a few people were shot.
The violent assaults in Benghazi, "heartbeat of the revolution" as the posters declared when it began last February, do not mean the elections nationally were a failure. But it does illustrate the divisions in Libya as it struggles to advance after the 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship.
At the Al Wiya Khadra, Zaituna and Tolitula polling centres, ballot boxes and papers were either damaged or taken away to be burned at a city-centre roundabout where a rally has been held for the past two days.
The administration in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council, said only one site had come under threat and voters had driven off the attackers.
No election observers were present at any of the stations attacked and security was light, with no weapons allowed within 200m of a voting centre.
It was a laudable attempt to show democracy in action away from the shadow of the gun. It also meant the guards were quickly overwhelmed when the federalists struck.
At Zaituna, Ibrahim Saleh, with blood streaming from his head, was furious at how a semi-automatic rifle had been grabbed from him and then, to add further insult, the raiders had shot up his home. "
"I will kill them if I catch them."
A woman who had come to vote with her two children was afraid and angry. "Where are the police, they are supposed to be protecting these places, protecting us," she said.
The police arrived belatedly at Tolitula. There was a confrontation with the federalists, both sides fired shots in the air and then at each other: a man fell and was dragged away. Murad Ali Fartusi, in his early teens, showed off his Glock pistol. "I used this in the revolution to fight Gaddafi, now I'll use it against those who want to steal our revolution. Now watch, we'll pretend to run away and the police will follow us. Then others will go and close other [polling] stations."
For a while, chasing convoys roared around the streets, sirens and horns blaring. It was like the heady days of the revolution again.
There was something else from the days of the war - large groups of armed men on the streets, mostly supporters of the election, forming roadblocks to stop the protesters.
"I had put this away six months ago, but now we must protect this election, there is no other way," said Omar Mohammed Hussein, wiping a rag over his Kalashnikov. "We are the majority and when the federalists fight us, they will lose." IndependentBy Kim Sengupta