Portugal’s early voters cast ballots ahead of next week’s election

Lisbon, Jan 23 (EFE).- Over 300,000 eligible early voters in Portugal were able to cast ballots on Sunday ahead of next week’s legislative elections.

Turnout hovered between 30 and 40% in key areas like Porto and Lisbon, suggesting a high abstention when the rest of the country heads to the polls.

Numbers were nonetheless higher than previous years due to the coronavirus.

Over 400,000 people are expected to be in Covid isolation on 30 January, but they will be able to vote in the last time slot between 6-7pm.

After casting their own ballots, prime minister António Costa and Porto mayor Rui Moreira encouraged people to go out and vote.

“I am very concerned that this whole pandemic situation will lead to people staying at home,” Moreira said.

“The important thing is that everyone who can should come to vote. Democracy requires everyone’s vote,” he added.

Authorities have asked voters to wear surgical or FFP2 masks, disinfect their hands, maintain a social distance and use their own pen.

Angela Malcato, after casting her vote at Lisbon university, told Efe she resorted to early voting over fears of being confined during election day next weekend due to Covid-19.

Some 10.8 million people can vote in the snap elections, which were slated after the government failed to pass its budget. EFE


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