Residents of Antigua and Barbuda will cast their vote today in the general election to select their next government.
Polls opened at 6 am and will close at 6 pm.
The electorate comprises 60,916 people spread across 16 constituencies in Antigua and one in Barbuda.
Incumbent Prime Minister Gaston Browne, of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), is seeking his third term in office.
Attorney at law, Harold Lovell, the political leader of the United Progressive Party, is seeking to oust Browne and become Grenada’s next prime minister.
Fifty-three candidates are contesting the election from four political parties and there are three independent contestants.
The ABLP is the only party contesting all 17 seats.
Both the UPP and the Democratic National Alliance have submitted 16 candidates.
The ABLP currently holds 15 of the 17 seats in parliament while the UPP and Barbuda People’s Movement hold the remaining seats.
The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) said systems are ready for today’s election.
In an interview with Loop Caribbean News on Monday, ABEC’s Public Relations Officer Elisa Graham said the agency has all the resources it needs to ensure the election is conducted in accordance with the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.
Graham said ABEC has increased the number of polling stations to 188 across the 17 constituencies to serve the electorate and make the process easy.
“We anticipate that quite a number of persons will utilise those polling stations because they are going to be spaced out. We will have two voting areas within each respective booth. [And] we do not anticipate any long lines,” she said.
ABEC is encouraging eligible voters to exercise the right and vote for the candidate of their choice.