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ARGENTINA | 14-11-2021 18:52

Polling stations close as authorities reveal turnout up to 71%

Interior Minister Eduardo 'Wado' de Pedro confirms that 71% of voters had cast a ballot by the time polling stations closed at 6pm. When the PASO primaries were held last September, turnout reached 67%.

Electoral authorities have revealed that turnout in the 2021 legislative elections this Sunday was 71 percent – a rise of four percent on the primaries.

Interior Minister Eduardo 'Wado' de Pedro confirmed the figure at 6pm local time, as he addressed the press as polling stations closed nationwide. Turnout in the PASO primaries back in September was 67 percent – the lowest recorded figure since the return of democracy.

In the last midterm legislative elections – held on Sunday, October 22, 2017 – turnout reached 77.61 percent, though today's election and the PASO primaries took place in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Voting began nationwide on Sunday at 8am local time, with 34 million Argentines registered to vote at 101,457 polling stations across the country.

De Pedro told the press that he expected results to arrive quickly, given the lower amount of options this time around compared to the PASOs. The first official results are anticipated to arrive between 9pm and 9.30pm.

Nearly half the lower house Chamber of Deputies seats are up for grabs in this election, as well as a third of Senate seats.

The ruling Frente de Todos coalition party is already a minority in the lower house Chamber of Deputies. Amid widespread discontent over an economy hit hard by the Covid pandemic, analysts say the party risks losing its Senate majority as well.

"We ask the Argentines to make their will known so we can build the country that they want," President Alberto Fernández told reporters after casting his vote on Sunday, accompanied by First Lady Fabiola Yáñez. "Today is a congressional election, nothing more."

– TIMES/AFP/NA

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