Brazilians voted Sunday in a polarized presidential race that could result in the election of a far-right former Army captain, whose praise of past dictatorships enrages critics but whose promise of a brutal crackdown on crime and corruption has electrified his supporters.
Polls open at 8 a.m. local time and close at 5 p.m. local time in all but the far western portions of Brazil. Exit polls should be broadcast at 7 p.m. local time and results will start flowing shortly after that because Brazil uses an electronic voting system.
The 147 million voters will choose the president, all 513 members of the lower house of Congress, two-thirds of the 81-member Senate plus governors and lawmakers in all 27 states.
Almost two-thirds of the electorate are concentrated in the more populous south and southeast of Brazil where its biggest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio Janeiro, are located - and where Bolsonaro holds a commanding lead. A quarter of the voters are in the less developed northeast, traditionally a PT stronghold.
Brazil is split over what cost to its democracy it may pay if it chooses Bolsonaro, a long-time congressman who has repeatedly praised the 1964-85 military regime, while also expressing racist, homophobic and misogynistic sentiment.
His running-mate Mourao, a retired general, has suggested a military coup is possible in Brazil.
Speaking at an event in Brasilia and referring to Lula, Mourao said either the judicial system removes from politics "those elements involved in all those illicit acts" or the army would "impose" its will.
He added that "very well elaborated plans" for a military intervention had already been developed.
In second place are the Workers Party’s (PT) Fernando Haddad and Manuela D'avila. Haddad served as minister of education from 2005, during Lula's presidency, to 2012, when Rousseff was serving her first term.
D'Avila hails from the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB). Aged 37, she nonetheless brings vast political and activist experience.
The latest polls from the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (Ibope), Datafolha and Vox Populi put Bolsonaro at 35 percent (Datafolha), 32 percent (Ibope) and 34 percent (Vox Populi) of voter intention respectively. Haddad, meanwhile, would get 22 percent (Datafolha), 23 percent (Ibope) and 27 percent (Vox Populi) of the vote.