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News > Latin America

Chile Election Update: Polls Have Closed and Vote Count Begins

  • Polls have officially closed in Chile's second round runoff elections.

    Polls have officially closed in Chile's second round runoff elections. | Photo: Twitter/@KawsachunNews

Published 19 December 2021

Chileans living abroad were the first to to exercise their right to vote to elect the country's president in the second round for the period 2022-2026.

Over 2,500 voting centers opened this Sunday in Chile to start the second round of the presidential election in which left-wing leader Gabriel Boric and the far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast compete to replace President Sebastian Piñera.


Guidelines For Chile's Run-Off Presidential Elections

4:00 pm: Polls close in Chile's runoff presidential elections

Polls have officially closed at 6pm local time in Chile's second round runoff presidential elections. The vote count will now begins and analysts believe preliminary results will start rolling in within an hour, at 7pm local time. 

3:45 pm: Kast campaign openly doubts lack of public transport on election day.

Ruth Hurtado, of right-wing candidate Jose Antonio Kast's campaign team, cast doubt and negated the widely-denounced problem of the lack of public transportation on election day to prevent poor and low-income voters from reaching polling stations. She claimed that Boric's "communist command center" must stop raising this suspicion and that the problem has "already been solved," despite widespread testimonies assuring that public bus frequencies were reduced up to 50% in comparison to any normal Sunday.

"Ruth Hurtado, from Kast's headquarters: "Let them stop deceiving or raising this false controversy regarding transportation... There were some problems during the morning but this has already been solved, the communist candidate's command center must stop raising this suspicion."

3:15 pm: Boric arrives at campaign headquarters to welcome the results.

The presidential candidate of Apruebo Dignidad, Gabriel Boric, has arrived this afternoon at his command center after voting in Magallanes earlier this morning. Boric plans to receive the news of the voting results later this evening from his local campaign headquarters at the Fundador Hotel.

"Candidate Gabriel Boric is already at the Fundador Hotel." 

2:45 pm: Boric wins by wide margin among Chileans voters in Europe.

As polls nearly close in Chile, there are several countries in the world that have already counted the votes. The results in Asia and Oceania are known, now it is the turn of Europe, a continent that experienced an increase in participation compared to the first round of November 21, and where Gabriel Boric scored victories over José Antonio Kast in important places such as Spain, Germany and France. 

In Spain, the third country in the world with the third largest number of Chileans eligible to vote (behind the US and Argentina), the candidate of Apruebo Dignidad obtained 3,002 votes, equivalent to 78.06%, while the leader of the Republican Party obtained 844 votes (21.94%). The turnout here was higher than in November: while 3,592 people voted in the first round, 3,846 voted this Sunday. 

In France, Boric also won, with 89.4% (1,343 votes), while Kast obtained 159 votes, equivalent to 10.6%. Adding the null and blank votes, in this country, which has Paris as one of the most numerous constituencies in the world, 1,513 people voted, 120 more than in the first round. 

Meanwhile in Germany, the Apruebo Dignidad standard-bearer registered 2,351 votes, equivalent to 83.3%. Kast, on the other hand, registered 473 votes (16.7%). As has been the trend, turnout in this country also rose in comparison with the November 21 elections: from 2,773 to 2,824. 

In Sweden, meanwhile, 1,703 people voted (1,703 validly cast), 150 more than in November. Here, Gabriel Boric swept with 94.3% of the votes (1,601 preferences), while his opponent obtained only 5.7% (97). 

Unlike the rest of Europe, the United Kingdom was the exception, registering fewer voters than in the first round. This Sunday, 1,115 people voted, 255 less than in November. Here, Boric took 69.3% of the votes (760 votes), while Kast scored 30.7% (337). There were also 10 blank votes and 8 null votes.

10:50 am: Senator-elect remembers victims of Police brutality. After casting her vote, Fabiola Campillai, a victim of police brutality who was elected senator, issued a message in memory of all those who were maimed by State terrorism, which the Piñera administration unleashed against those citizens who protested in 2019.

"My vote is for all those who passed away, the maimed, and the tortured. My vote is for the freedom of our prisoners," said a 38-year-old woman who lost an eye when she was hit by a tear gas canister thrown by the Chilean military police.

Previously, Campillai called to halt the return of fascism by voting in favor of former left-wing student leader Gabriel Boric.

09:00 a.m.: Kast hints he will dispute the results. After casting his vote in Paine neighborhood, the right-wing presidential candidate Jose Antonio Kast said he will work in favor of "dialogue" if he becomes president. He also hinted that the results could be disputed.

"Clearly, polling station authorities have a role and this could be defined in the electoral tribunals," he said, anticipating what he would do after an election in which opinion polls do not grant him victory.

“I have always said the person who loses in an election must salute the elected candidate. This has to be done,” Kast said at a time when 99.41 percent of the polling stations were already receiving votes.

08:21 a.m.: Leftist candidate Gabriel Boric casts his vote. On an electoral day that is progressing without incident, the "Approve Dignity" candidate Gabriel Boric cast his vote from Punta Arena.

“I am excited to exercise the right to vote... I invite you to also participate in this process. Chile needs you today so that hope overcomes fear!” Boric said and asked the far-right politician Kast to recognize the results of the elections. Last week, however, the Christian Social candidate Kast warned that he will wait for the final official vote count if the margin of votes between the two candidates is small.

Optimistic that he will become the next President of Chile, Boric highlighted his respect for the democratic institutions of his country.

“We are calm because we have run a clean campaign without inventing or spreading lies... We trust our country's institutions. Therefore, from this moment, we will respect the result, whatever it may be, without generating doubts. "

The tweet reads, "Chile decides its fate. Say NO to fascism."

Background information. More than 15 million people are called to vote in this election, the most polarized and decisive for the future of the country since the 1988 plebiscite that ended the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

The latest polls agree that Boric would win the ballot with between 5 and 14 points of advantage, although experts affirm that the outlook is very uncertain and that the result will be defined vote by vote if only 2 percentage points are the final difference between both candidates.

Chileans living abroad were the first to to exercise their right to vote to elect the country's president in the second round for the period 2022-2026.

“Now we get images of the first voter voting in Wellington, New Zealand. Vote informed and choose the country you want ”, tweeted by the Electoral Service (SERVEL).

“I have already exercised my right to vote! Sunday, December 19 in the morning at my polling station in Auckland, New Zealand, ”a Chilean woman tweeted from the first country where polling stations open.

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