MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay is holding general elections on Sunday, with the presidency, vice presidency and congressional seats up for grabs.
Voters will also decide a referendum question on reducing the age for being prosecuted for a crime from 18 to 16.
The South American country’s 6,948 polling places will close at 7:30 p.m., with the first official results expected about 90 minutes later.
The elections, according to the latest polls, are the tightest in the past 10 years, with the governing Broad Front at risk of losing its absolute majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Broad Front candidate and former President Tabare Vazquez is drawing between 41 percent and 44 percent support among voters and will likely have to go to a run-off on Nov. 30.
The polls show Vazquez battling National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou, who is getting about 32 percent voter support, in the run-off.
Pedro Bordaberry, the other candidate with a chance to make it to the run-off, is drawing 15 percent support.
President Jose Mujica, who is prohibited by the constitution from running for re-election, cast his ballot at a youth center in the Rincon del Cerro district on the outskirts of Montevideo and urged his countrymen to vote.
Uruguayans should vote “with bonhomie, joy and tranquility,” the 79-year-old former guerrilla said.