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Cities see lines of up to four hours at polling stations

In Brazil’s state capitals and abroad, voters are facing queues of up to four hours to be able to vote at polling stations. According to electoral courts, the delay is due to the collection of biometric data from voters who have not yet registered their fingerprints in order to vote. There are also cases of voters who forget who they intend to vote for. It is forbidden to take cell phones into the voting booth.

About 75 percent of voters have already registered their biometric data. Although it is possible to vote by presenting an official photo ID, some poll workers are taking the opportunity to register those who have not yet put their biometrics on file.

In addition, this year, the polls have an extra one-second time for voters to check their vote before it is counted. There are 156 million eligible voters in the country.

In Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, the average wait time at polling stations is around one hour. It took two hours between mid-morning and lunchtime in Salvador and Belo Horizonte. In Teresina, voters reported waiting up to four hours.

“I voted. I’ve never taken so long. Two hours in line,” wrote engineer and radio pundit Roberto Motta on Twitter.

In Portugal, the country with the largest number of Brazilians abroad, polling time was extended until 8 pm (4 pm in Brazil) due to large queues. Other cities abroad, such as Milan, Berlin, and London, had queues with waiting times that lasted up to three hours.

The Superior Electoral Court stated that people who are in line at 5 pm, the alleged time for closing ballots, will still be able to vote. There is no prospect yet that there will be a delay in the disclosure of the final result.

Despite the long lines, there are no records of significant problems with the polls and the electoral system.

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