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News > Chile

Chile: First Day of Elections Marked by Low Voter Turnout

  • Citizen showing a poster reading

    Citizen showing a poster reading "Bye 1980 Constitution", Chile, May 15, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @DavidGr07837209

Published 15 May 2021

Polling stations will be secured by over 23,000 militaries, participating political parties' members, and Electoral Service officials.

On Saturday, the first day of the mega-elections in Chile ended with only 3 out of 15 million votes registered.


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Throughout the night, polling stations will be secured by over 23,000 military personnel and other people selected by the participating political parties, informed Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado.

A member of the electoral board and an official of the Electoral Service will also take part in the custody of the votes.

Tomorrow the 2,731 polling stations will reopen their doors at 8:00 AM.

Chile's electoral authorities took two voting days to avoid crowds during the process in which high citizen participation was expected due to its importance.

"Undoubtedly, we are facing the most important historical process in the last 40 years, and one that will mark the future for the next 40 years," said the President of the Chamber of Deputies Diego Paulsen.

Besides electing 354 mayors and 2.252 councilors, Chileans will choose, for the first time in history, 16 regional governors who used to be elected by the executive.

On the other hand, 155 citizens will be chosen to draft the new Constitution. Women and men will have equal participation in the Convention, and 17 seats will be only available for representatives of indigenous peoples. 

This is the first time in 200 years of independence that the country will have a Constitution written by elected citizens, since the three previous Constitutions (1833, 1925, and 1980) were elaborated by not-elected bodies.

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