Economy Minister Sergio Massa was the preferred presidential candidate of Argentina’s prison population in the October 22 election receiving 71.87 percent of votes cast by convicts.
Final results issued by the National Electoral Chamber (CNE) published Tuesday showed that 25,526 detainees in total cast a ballot, equal to 36.71 percent of the ‘prison electorate.’
That was around 3,000 votes higher than the 22,613 votes registered in the 2023 PASO primaries on August 13.
After the Unión por la Patria coalition candidate, who received 17,268 votes, inmates preferred libertarian lawmaker Javier Milei, who received 3,722 votes or 15.49 percent of ballots cast.
Reflecting the overall positions in the presidential ballot, Juntos por el Cambio candidate Patricia Bullrich finished third with 5.23 percent (1,257 votes).
Trailing were Hacemos por Nuestro País’ Juan Schiaretti (1,052 votes) and El Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores-Unidad hopeful Myriam Bregman (728 votes).
A total of 965 ‘blank’ votes were cast with 533 declared null and void.
Massa won the prison vote in all but two provinces nationwide, Córdoba and San Luis., which were won by Schiaretti and Milei respectively.
Prisoners have been allowed to vote in Argentina’s presidential elections since 2007 when the CNE and Penal Code reform allowed inmates to be included on the electoral roll. Not all detainees can vote, however – only those without a final confirmed conviction are eligible.
In 2016, the CNE challenged this rule, declaring it unconstitutional and asked Congress to amend the law. To date, it has not been altered.
The chamber noted that freedom is the only right that detainees are deprived of, all others must be guaranteed, including the right to vote.
Curiously, and unlike the general population, voters in prisons and juvenile institutions can vote with a single paper ballot.