The final results are expected to be after 8:00 p.m. local time (9:00 p.m. in Argentina), although the names of the constitutional advisers may take a little longer, since gender parity may cause some delay.
In the last hours of the day there was a large turnout at the polls and the Government spokesperson, camila vallejosaid “In some very specific cases, we have a traffic jam (congestion) greater as a result of the schedule, but also of the turnout, coincidentally in sectors that went to vote at the same time”although he acknowledged that the electoral process has been “orderly and calm.”
“Since the minute the polling stations opened, we have had a quiet day, an orderly day, we also have 100% of the tables constituted at the national level,” said the government spokesperson.
According to data from the Santiago Metro, this Sunday there were 69% more trips compared to a usual Sunday, but 26% less compared to the last election.
There were also long lines at the police stations, where voters who are more than 200 kilometers from their polling place can excuse themselves from voting.and according to data from the police, until 2:00 p.m. almost 100,000 certificates had been made, since voting is mandatory.
What was voted in Chile
Chileans voted today to elect the editors of a new Constitution after the failure of a previous constituent process strongly encouraged by President Gabriel Boric, who when voting today said that “this time there is no margin for error”.
The vote to elect the 50 councilors started at 8 am and lasted until 6 pm (7 pm in Argentina).and Chileans lined up at 38,663 tables in 2,932 locations throughout the country, guarded by the military and police.
Boric voted in the morning at a school in his hometown of Punta Arenas, in the southern region of Magallanes, and, as is his custom on election days, he arrived at his table walking from his parents’ house and accompanied by relatives.
“We must achieve a Constitution that unites us, signifies progress and identifies the majority of Chileans to update our fundamental norms,” the leftist president told reporters as he left the polling place.
“As a country we have a historic opportunity to reconcile after the fractures we have experienced and move towards a developed and inclusive country. This time there is no margin for error,” he added.
More than 15 million Chileans are empowered to vote in this second constitutional process in the country since the return of democracy, in 1990, after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, during which the current Magna Carta was written.
The drafting of a new Constitution to replace the one inherited from the dictatorship was one of the central demands of the social outbreak of 2019, when millions of people took to the streets of Santiago and other cities in Chile to demand social justice.
The then conservative government of President sebastian pinera he had to give in to the demand: in 2020 the drafting of a new Constitution was approved and in 2021 Chileans elected the members of the Constituent Convention in charge of doing so.
The drafting of the text culminated in June 2022, about three months after Boric took office.
But the Constitution was rejected in a plebiscite in September 2022when 61% of the voters ruled against it, in a strong setback for Boric, who had defended the text as his own.
Today’s election takes place in a context of less citizen interest compared to the previous one. However, voting is compulsory and a high turnout is expected at the polls, which gives an uncertain result.
Since the return to democracy, only those people who had registered on the electoral roll voted, but now registration is automatic and voting is compulsory. If they do not attend, people risk fines ranging from 0.5 to 3 UTM (between 38 and 230 dollars).
The 50 people chosen as constitutional advisors will draft the new magna carta based on a preliminary draft that is being written by the Committee of Experts, made up of 24 people elected by both legislative chambers.
This election will also be marked by the principle of gender parity, so 25 directors will be women and the other half men, which could take a little longer for the final results, which are expected at 9:00 p.m. (22 in Argentina).
In total there are 353 candidates, including one independent and two who will compete for seats reserved for indigenous peoples.
The rest are part of five electoral lists: Todo por Chile (center and center left), Unity for Chile (most of the government parties), Chile Seguro (parties of the right-wing Chile Vamos coalition), in addition to the candidates of the Partido Republican – far-right, led by former presidential candidate José Antonio Kast) and the People’s Party (led by former presidential candidate Franco Parisi).
The elected Constitutional Council will begin its functions on June 7 and will have until November 7 to draft the constitutional text, which will be voted on in a binding plebiscite.