Low voter turnout in Italy – Meloni postpones voting

Polling station in Italy

Polling stations open at 7 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.

(Photo: dpa)

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.

Giorgia Meloni

The EU-critical politician could become the first woman to become Prime Minister in Italy.

(Photo: AP)

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.

More: Alliance of Radicals: These right-wing parties want to govern Italy

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