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ARGENTINA | 13-08-2023 20:42

Electoral authorities put turnout for PASO primaries at 69%

Electoral authorities say 69% of voters cast ballot in PASO primaries; Lower turnout points to voter apathy.

Argentina has voted in a crucial primary election that will determine the candidates for October's presidential vote and influence the country’s future political direction.

Citizens went to the polls amid a deep economic crisis that has fuelled scepticism among voters towards traditional politicians. Underlining that sense of apathy, election authorities reported Sunday that only 68.5 percent of the electoral roll had cast a ballot by the time polls were closing at 6pm – the second-lowest tally since the PASOs were introduced in 2011.

As well as voting for presidential candidates, citizens in Buenos Aires City chose their preferred mayoral candidate while voters in the country’s most-populous region, Buenos Aires Province, selected their gubernatorial hopeful. Candidates for governor were also selected in Santa Cruz Province.

Turnout in the 2021 primaries reached only 67.78 percent, but only legislative posts were being chosen and the Covid-19 pandemic was still ongoing.

Voting in Buenos Aires City was also affected by failures with the single electronic ballot system. Federal Judge María Servini to issue a resolution extending voting hours at polling stations with queues until 7.30pm. According to reports, at least four schools had long lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots.

In a statement, Servini said that more than 200 voting machines had not functioned. The judge also expressed concern over the “degree of improvisation” in the handling of the machinery.



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