LIMA – More than 23 million Peruvians were called to the polls on Sunday to elect 25 regional governors, 196 provincial mayors and 1,678 district mayors, along with a number of councilors.
Most of the precincts opened at 8:00 am with long lines at those with high local populations, and they were to remain open until 4:00 pm.
About 81,000 polling stations were set up around the country, some 9,000 of them equipped with electronic voting machines.
In Peru, voting is obligatory and the ONPE national election authority established fines of between 20.75 soles and 83 soles ($6.20 and $25) for eligible citizens who do not vote and 207.5 soles ($62) for precinct workers who do not show up.
In addition, Peruvian electoral law establishes a 24-hour period prior to the start of voting during which time alcoholic beverages may not be sold.
This election, during which local and regional officials will be elected for the 2019-2022 term, are the first at which mayors are prohibited from being re-elected, a ban that had been in place for regional governors prior to this.
If no candidate wins more than 30 percent in specific races, a run-off vote will be held between the two top vote-getters for those contests on Dec. 9.
In the mayoral elections, the candidate with the most votes will be declared the winner, although he or she might not have obtained 50 percent.
The most important election will be that for mayor of Lima, in which 20 candidates – 19 men and one woman – are competing.
Among the candidates with the best chances of winning in that race are Jorge Muñoz, with the centrist Popular Action party and current mayor of Lima’s Miraflores district, Podemos Party candidate Daniel Urresti, a former government minister, and former lawmaker Renzo Reggiardo, with the Peru Patria Segura party.
To guarantee public safety and security during the election, the Peruvian National Police deployed 105,000 officers at precincts throughout the nation, some 23,400 of them in Lima.