At just under 54%, turnout was surprisingly low. In 2008, it was 65%. Mayoralties were also at stake then.
Perhaps this time a combination of voter fatigue, the approaching holidays, and other factors kept people home.
Voting went smoothly. On Sunday, National Bolivarian Armed Forces Operational Strategic Command head, Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernandez, said:
"The process is going well, and we hope it will continue so during the whole day." Later reports confirmed a calm, smooth vote.
About 141,000 military personnel protected 12,748 polling stations and voters nationwide.
From Cuba, Chavez called on Venezuelans to vote. Minister of Science and Technology, Jorge Arreaza, delivered his message on national television, saying:
Chavez urged "particularly the patriot people, those who love the homeland, to take part and solidify spaces of government which guide us into the greatest sum of happiness possible."- Advertisement -
He added that Chavez is doing well. He "sends his love to Venezuela and the people of Latin America."
On Saturday, he began "to communicate, instruct, govern, and give instructions to be carried out" back home. He's "closely following the elections."