Argentina’s preliminary elections: Everything you need to know

On Sunday 11 August at 8am, Argentina will head to the polls and take part in the first stage of voting before the general election on 27 October. 

This is where the candidates for the October elections are selected depending on whether they get through this round of voting. Parties need to get over 1.5% of the overall vote in order to pass to the next stage and appear on the ballot in October.

This part of the process is called the PASO, or the “Primaries, Open, Simultaneous and Obligatory”. According to the government website, it is called this as:

Primaries: This is the first round of the elections. Each party can have different contenders for the same position, so this is where citizens, without needing to be part of that political party, vote for the contenders they want to be a candidate for that role.

Open: All citizens take part without taking into consideration if they are affiliated or not to a political party.

Simultaneous: It is the same day in the whole country for all parties.

Obligatory: All citizens must vote.

Citizens can vote for different parties on the same ballot, but this involves cutting up the ballot and putting it back together with the candidates you wish to vote for. For example, you can vote for a senator from one party and a legislator from another.

If citizens vote for two candidates for the same position then their vote is declared null and if they don’t vote, then they will be added to a list of offenders and be given a fine. The fine is between 50($1.10)  and 100($2.20) pesos.

Voters will be selecting candidates for president and vice-president as well as 24 seats in the Senate and 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

The 130 national legislators will have a mandate of 4 years (2019-2023) whereas the 24 senators will have a 6 year mandate (2019-2025), according to Perfil.

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