Brazil election 2018: Voting opens in polarized presidential race

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilians are going to the polls to vote in the most polarised presidential election for many years.

Polling has started in almost all of Brazil in its general elections, except for Acre state, which is two hours late than capital city Brasilia.

Nearly 150 million people are eligible to vote. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the valid ballots, there will be a second round in three weeks.

In addition to choosing a new president and vice president, the voters will also choose new governors, senators, federal and state representatives.

Voting stops on 5 p.m. local time (2000 GMT). Results are expected to be known before midnight, as the electronic ballots are quick to be counted.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is the frontrunner. He has vowed to tackle crime and record-high murder rates.

His main rival is the left-wing candidate for the Workers’ Party, Fernando Haddad, who is backed by jailed ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

More than 1,000 seats in state legislatures across the country are also being contested.