Presidential Elections

Chilean elections underway, with long lines outside polling stations

The elections in Chile started on Sunday morning with long lines outside polling stations. In several central and northern zones, temperatures went far above the 30°. But that didn’t deter anyone. 

Whether its coronavirus restrictions prohibiting large gatherings inside polling stations or truly a big turnout, the elections in Chile on Sunday were marked by long lines as voter had to sometimes wait for over an hour. Many had to face the scorching sun, patiently waiting to do their civic duty. At 18h polling stations close, although people who wait in line will still be able to vote.

Most presidential candidates voted in the morning. José Antonio Kast did so while being escorted by soldiers; Gabriel Boric and Yasna Provoste voted in their respective hometowns of Punta Arenas and Vallenar. Boric will fly back to Santiago to watch the election results at the party offices. President Sebastián Piñera also voted in the early morning, and called on his fellow citizens to do the same.

And many Chileans voted. From Pudahuel to Las Condes, Ñuñoa to Providencia, Concepción to Antofagasta, Valparaíso to Chillán: everywhere unusually long lines were reported. Turnout dropped steadily about 20 years ago to around 50 percent. But enthusiasm seems to return.

Chileans abroad already voted and polling in some countries already closed as results have come in. Similar to previous elections, when the left wing won abroad, Gabriel Boric that tops the lists in most countries, from China to Japan to Australia and New Zealand. Results in Chile will start pouring in around 20h. But before that happens, there are still tens of thousands of Chileans who wait to enter their voting station.

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