Photo: Michelle Bachelet and Evelyn Matthei
Chile is holding its presidential run-off election on Sunday, with former President Michelle Bachelet and conservative Evelyn Matthei vying to be the South American country’s next head of state.
The polls opened at 8:00 a.m., with officials reporting delays due to unprepared election workers at the country’s approximately 2,000 polling places.
Some 13.5 million people are eligible to cast ballots in the election, the first in Chile’s history with automatic voter registration and a voluntary vote.
The 62-year-old Bachelet, the candidate of the center-left New Majority alliance, served as president from 2006 to 2010 and is the favorite to win.
Bachelet won around 47 percent of the vote in the first round of voting on Nov. 17, beating the 60-year-old Matthei, the candidate of the governing conservative Alliance for Chile, by some 22 percentage points.
Matthei, an economist and former labor minister under current President Sebastian Piñera, received 25.01 percent of the vote in the first round.
The forecast is for sunny skies and warm weather across the South American country on Sunday.
This year marks the first time that legislative and presidential elections are being handled by the Chilean Electoral Service, or Servel, which took over the task from the Interior Ministry.
Polling places are scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m., with the first results expected to be released about two hours after the polls close.