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Argentina to hold primary vote ahead of midterm elections


Argentina to hold primary vote ahead of midterm elections

Photo: Juan Mabromata/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Argentinians will today vote for 127 of the 257 seats in Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies.

In addition to the deputies, 24 of the 45 seats for senators will be open to voting in eight provinces. This election is a Simultaneous and Compulsory Open Primary, and as the name suggest, failure to vote results in a fine. Notably, those diagnosed with COVID-19 will be barred from voting.

The effect of this election is two-fold. On one hand, the primary will determine candidate eligibility to run in the November legislative election. Today’s candidates need to gain 1.5% of the vote to be eligible to appear on the ballot in November. On the other hand, compulsory elections may artificially cause a spike of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Argentina has struggled to fully vaccinate its citizens—due to shortfalls of the second dose of Sputnik V—and as of August, only 7.98 million people, around 18% of the population, had received a second dose. Argentina’s aggressive reopening policies, coupled with this compulsory election, may cause cases to spike. Another surge of COVID-19 will likely stall later elections, boost support for opposition parties, and foil Argentina’s hopes of 7% economic growth this year.

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