Colombia’s National Registrar has confirmed that all the necessary preparations have been made for the country’s second-round elections this Sunday.
According to the Registrar, more than 32 million Colombians are eligible to vote in Colombia’s June 15 elections, both domestically and abroad.
Early voting for the nearly 600,000 Colombian citizens living abroad started on Monday, with polling stations located in 64 different countries.
Nearly 11,000 polling stations will be open in the country on election day.
According to Radio W, the National Registrar has installed thousands of biometric identification tools throughout the country to combat voter impersonation fraud. Nearly half a million Colombian citizens will also be working as jurors to ensure that the elections run as smoothly as possible.
Despite these precautions, Colombian elections continue to be plagued by accusations of fraud, as can be seen by the nearly 5,000 reports of electoral regulation violations that the Agency for Electoral Transparency has received since the March congressional elections.
URIEL, the state agency in charge of receiving, analyzing and referring complaints of the electoral process to the appropriate authorities, said in a release on Monday that there were 4,636 reports of electoral irregularities this year.
Colombia’s elections have been marred with complaints of electoral fraud and vote buying. Reports of electoral fraud have more than doubled in relation to the 2010 elections, according to Bogota’s Blu Radio.
Colombia’s Foreign Minister announced on Tuesday in a press release that the National Electoral Council has been asked to take additional measures to control electoral fraud overseas.
The minister has asked for the extra measures after ‘fake’ results were released on Twitter before the first round of presidential elections.
According to the minister, the National Electoral Council has pledged to prevent phone or cameras being carried into the overseas polling places.
Oscar Ivan Zuluaga of the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) party, swept to victory during the first round of the presidential elections with 29% of the vote, ahead of Santos’ 25%, although he was still short of the 50% majority needed to secure the presidency.
The two candidates will face each other on Sunday, June 15, although the result hangs in the balance and recently released polls do not give a clear indication of who the eventual winner may be.
According to a poll by Cifras y Conceptos, incumbent President Santos is the clear favorite to win the elections on June 15 ahead of his rival, hard-line candidate Zuluaga.
However, two polls released only hours before reported conflicting outcomes; According to a Ipsos Napoleon Franco poll, Zuluaga is set to become Colombia’s next president while US pollster Gallup said that the race between the electoral rivals is tied.
According to Cifras y Conceptos, Zuluaga’s rise in the weeks leading up to the first round of the election held on May 25 has been curbed, while Santos has been favored by the exit of three defeated presidential hopefuls, in the first round of the elections.
The second round of elections will be held on June 15 from 8:00am to 4:00 pm.