Argentina’s Santa Fe Begins Recount After Vote Split Three Ways

Argentina’s fourth biggest voting district will carry out a recount after the election for state governor was evenly split three ways on Sunday.

Electoral authorities for Santa Fe province, which represents about 8 percent of the electorate, should complete the recount within 10 days, Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernandez said on Monday. With 95 percent of votes counted, Miguel Lifschitz of the Socialist Party alliance that currently holds the governorship had 30.69 percent of the total, against 30.58 percent for Miguel Del Sel of Mauricio Macri’s PRO alliance. Omar Perotti of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s Victory Front alliance had 29.5 percent of the votes.

“There are many strange things,” Del Sel said in a press conference Monday. “The people and us want to know what the final result was because if not we will begin to lose our trust in democracy.”

Del Sel, who had garnered most votes in primary elections in May, was hoping to hand opposition presidential candidate Macri his first victory outside of the city of Buenos Aires. The difference of 2,128 votes between Lifschitz and Del Sel compares with more than 60,000 votes yet to be counted and 2,463 votes that must be reassessed after they were rejected by the electoral court for technical reasons.

“As the number of null voting is above 3 percent, the election will be decided in an official recount,” Fernandez said Monday.

Del Sel’s running mate Jorge Boasso said the number of votes rejected by the electoral tribunal more than doubled late after more than 90 percent of votes had been tallied.

In Rio Negro province, which also held elections on Sunday, Governor Alberto Weretilneck of the Together We Are Rio Negro alliance defeated Miguel Angel Pichetto of the Victory Front by 52 percent against 33 percent.

Macri, the current mayor of Buenos Aires city, trails Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli of the Victory Front alliance by 27 percent of intended votes against 34 percent, according to a poll by Buenos Aires-based Poliarquia carried out in the first two weeks of May.

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