Rome In the first hours of the parliamentary elections in Italy only a few citizens cast their votes. As announced by the Ministry of the Interior in Rome, the turnout at 12 p.m. was around 19 percent. That was even a little less than in the 2018 election – at that time the country had registered the lowest turnout in parliamentary elections in the post-war period at just under 73 percent.
Experts predicted an even lower voter turnout of even less than 70 percent this time. The polling stations have been open since 7 a.m. and do not close until 11 p.m. in the evening.
Some of the top candidates already cast their votes in the morning, for example Matteo Salvini from the right-wing populist Lega in Milan, the social democrat Enrico Letta in Rome or central politician Matteo Renzi in Florence.
According to polls, the right-wing alliance, which is led by Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia party, looks set to win. Meloni had also announced that he would be voting in a school in southern Rome in the morning, but then did not appear as planned. According to a spokeswoman, she only wants to vote shortly before the bars close. The nationalist and EU-critical politician could become the first woman to become Prime Minister in Italy.
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“Let’s make history together,” Meloni tweeted that morning. Their allies, such as the Lega, also posted a number of election messages on social networks on Sunday, as they had done the day before. They ignored a requirement to refrain from such statements on the day before and on the day of the election.
There were long lines in front of some polling stations, which caused some outrage. This was also due to the fact that a strip had to be carefully torn off the two filled out ballot papers – one each for the House of Representatives and one for the Senate – before they could be thrown into the ballot box. This additional procedure to combat voter fraud delayed the process.