Chile's president forgets to sign name at voting booth, leaves behind ID

October 23, 2016 11:41 AM EDT

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Organization of American States Secretary-General Luis Almagro arrive to open a photo exhibit in honour of the late and former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier at the OAS in Washington, U.S., September 23,


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SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet had a rocky go of voting in the nation's local elections on Sunday, having to return to the polls twice after leaving her ID behind and forgetting to sign her name.

Bachelet, voting in the upper-middle class Santiago neighborhood of La Reina, first forgot to grab her national identification card from poll workers after casting her vote.

She retrieved the ID from the voting area and then walked outside to address journalists. However, Bachelet had to return to the booth again to sign a voter registry as required by law, after failing to do so in previous voting attempts.

"I missed you all very much," Bachelet joked to the poll workers.

Bachelet later told reporters the worker in charge of the poll where she voted became nervous and forgot to present her with the registry to sign. The poll worker in question gave the same account.

The episode proved amusing to local media with national newspaper La Tercera saying it was "as unusual, as it was embarrassing."

In Chile's local elections for mayors and councilors, the right is set to make gains against Bachelet's center-left governing coalition, which could provide a boost for the right in next year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

However, high abstention rates by Chileans disenchanted by a string of political corruption scandals in the South American nation have made exact predictions difficult.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bill Trott)



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