Unless the election is too close to call, the National Election Council expects to declare a winner by 10 p.m. in today’s presidential runoff between Andres Arauz and Guillermo Lasso. The CNE says that vote counting should progress quickly since there is only one race to count.
Almost 13,100,000 citizens and 13,000 eligible foreign residents go to the polls today to cast their ballots. Voting is mandatory for citizens and poll workers say they will enforce social distancing rules as voters line up at the polling stations.
The election pits the centrist-conservative Lasso, a former Guayaquil bank president, against center-leftist Andres Arauz, a protégé of former president Rafael Correa. Many analysts see the election as a referendum on the policies and personality of Correa despite the fact that Arauz has attempted to distance himself from the former president since the February election. Correa has been convicted in a campaign bribery case and would be arrested if he enters the country.
Dozens of international election observers will monitor voting in the major cities and well as in selected smaller communities. The observers, who represented such organizations as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Electoral Observation Mission, say they have witnessed few problems during the campaign.
The CNE will not provide a “quick count” summary tonight following the embarrassment of the February 7 election when the count indicated Yaku Perez was the runner-up and would face Arauz in the runoff, a position that eventually went to Lasso after late votes were tabulated.
A composite of five election polls give Arauz a five point advantage but most polls have indicated a tightening race in the last 10 days.