November 30, 2022

50% + abstention — MercoPress

The main ??political party?? of the Chilean presidential election: 50% + abstention

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 – 09:12 UTC

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Kast and Boric must try to convince half of the voters to take an interest in the ballot

Although the long queues at polling stations and the delay suffered by many voters gave the impression that last Sunday’s election in Chile had triggered a massive turnout, later in the day the figures of the electoral service showed exactly the opposite, a little more than 7 million Chileans took the trouble to go and vote for the next Chilean president.

The abstention was massive, the Electoral Register counted 15,030,973 citizens. of which 14,959,955 in Chile and 71,018 abroad, but in Chile 7,000,544 ballots were finally counted and 34,036 abroad, which makes Sunday’s participation in the presidential election 47.34% of the Register electoral, less than 50%.

Turnout in legislative and regional council elections was slightly higher but not much more, which was seen as a serious wake-up call for Chilean democracy and reigniting the debate on whether voting should be compulsory or no. Voting for the president and congressmen of both chambers was mandatory until 2012. The new legislation also allowed overseas Chileans to vote and established that all Chileans were automatically registered in the electoral register. This was done by cross-referencing the data with the birth register.

The campaign for the second round of December 19 between the two most voted candidates started on Monday. They are the conservatives Jose Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric in the representation of a coalition of left formations. With less than three percentage points difference, respectively 28% and 25.8%, the two candidates have several challenges ahead of them, convincing a significant number of half of the absentee electorate to vote and adapting their programs and government promises. to the potential party support of the other seven unsuccessful presidential candidates. Not to mention the general disenchantment with politics, which exploded during the few weeks of social unrest in 2019, and seems to remain latent.

On December 19, the winning candidate must secure 50% plus one of the votes cast.