Early returns back giving Paraguay expats the vote

AP News
Posted: Oct 09, 2011 9:34 PM
Early returns back giving Paraguay expats the vote

A proposal to allow Paraguayans living abroad to vote in elections at home won overwhelming support Sunday after most ballots were counted from a lightly attended national referendum.

Electoral officials said the measure was supported by nearly 78 percent of the ballots counted, with the rest opposed. They said more than 90 percent of the nation's 5,309 polling stations had reported.

The electoral agency estimated only about 10 percent of the South American country's 3 million eligible voters cast ballots Sunday.

Paraguay's Congress will also have to approve the plan for it to take effect. The proposal was supported by President Fernando Lugo.

Paraguay saw an estimated 1.5 million citizens flee during a 1954-89 dictatorship, and the outflow has remained strong under democracy due to economic reasons.