ROME (AP) — The Latest on Italy’s elections (all times local):
The outgoing president of Italy’s Senate is voicing concern that some polling stations in Palermo were still closed hours into election day due to delays in getting proper ballots delivered.
In a tweet Sunday, Pietro Grasso said such delays and errors were “unacceptable.” Grasso, who broke away from the Democratic Party to start his own center-left party, said he hoped the problem wouldn’t discourage people from voting.
Overnight, Palermo authorities had to reprint about 200,000 ballots because the wrong ones were delivered. That delayed the opening of some stations.
In Rome, meanwhile, voters complained that the ballots were too complicated to understand.
Sister Vincenza, voting at a polling station on Rome’s Aventine hill, said the process was “all mixed up.” She said: “You feel as if you have gone there prepared but it is not that clear. Anyway, I have to go to Mass.”
The first glitches in Italy’s closely watched elections have started to be reported.
In Palermo, 200,000 ballots had to be reprinted overnight because the wrong ones were delivered. In Mantova, where voters are also voting for the leadership of the Lombardy region, the logo of the Democratic Party regional candidate was printed erroneously.
The ANSA news agency said there would likely be court challenges to the outcome as a result.
More than 46 million Italians were voting Sunday in a general election that is being closely watched to determine if Italy would succumb to the populist, anti-establishment and far-right sentiment that has swept through much of Europe in recent years.
Polls have opened in Italy in in one of the most uncertain elections in years.
Sunday’s vote is one being watched to see if Italy will succumb to the populist, euroskeptic and far-right sentiment that has swept through Europe in recent years.
The campaign was marked by the prime-time airing of neofascist rhetoric and anti-migrant violence that culminated in a shooting spree last month against six Africans. While the center-right coalition that capitalized on the anti-migrant sentiment led the polls, analysts predict the likeliest outcome is a hung parliament.
More than 46 million Italians were eligible to vote from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (0600-2200GMT), including Italians abroad who already mailed in ballots. Exit polls were expected after polls closed, projections sometime thereafter and consolidated results Monday.