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Turnout low in first vote abroad, as Tico expats prefer Luis Guillermo Solís

April 8, 2014

Nearly eight out of 10 Costa Ricans registered to vote abroad in Sunday’s presidential elections decided to stay home. This is the first time Ticos could vote from other countries, and the turnout was less than stellar.

According to the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) , only 22 percent of 12,600 registered expat voters – 2,772 – went to the polls.

Those who did preferred Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís by a wide margin. With 90 percent of the votes tallied, Solís won 42 percent of the expat vote, while National Liberation Party candidate Johnny Araya won 27 percent.

The Broad Front Party’s José María Villalta came in third with 14.8 percent, followed by Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara, with 9 percent.

TSE spokesman Hugo Picado noted that the numbers are not yet official. For voters in the U.S. and Canada, TSE officials will study if adverse weather affected abstention rates.

In Sunday’s elections, Ticos were allowed to vote for presidential candidates – but not legislative candidates – in 52 consulates located in 42 countries.

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