San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

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

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.

Contact L. Arias at

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Agree with Juanita that many of those registered did not vote. But the CR Govt needs to make access much easier, such as voting online or mail in ballots. People cannot just take time off the job to vote, costing them time and money. And in the USA there are very few CR consuls in which to vote!

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I understand what the others are saying. but that is not the issue here. Only 22% of those REGISTERED to vote actually voted.
There are way more than 12,600 Ticos living abroad. Those are the ones that knew about the registration deadline and took the time to register… but then 78% of them decided NOT to vote on Sunday.
THAT is the big question – why go to all the trouble to register and then not show up to vote? When they registered, they knew they were going to have to go to the consulate or embassy to vote.

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I live in the USA west coast and tried to vote but Costa Rica govt. did not make it easy at all. The deadline to register was August, 2013, about 4-5 months before elections. I missed this deadline by months. Then you could not vote online or by mail but must have voted in person at a Consulate, well I live about 800 miles from nearest consulate so that would have been impossible for me. Hopefully they will make it easier in the future!

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Many of us who could have voted abroad did not know that the deadline for registering was October 2nd. Really disappointed I wasn’t able to vote.

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