Mexicans are voting in an election that’s expected to elect the country’s first female president. The leading candidates are Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez, both women far ahead of the only male candidate, Jorge Álvarez Máynez.

Voters are also choosing members of Congress, governors in eight states, and Mexico City’s head of government.

The campaign has been marred by violence, with over 20 local candidates killed, though some reports say the number is as high as 37. On election day, two people were killed in attacks on polling stations in Puebla.

Claudia Sheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City and a scientist, is backed by outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Although López Obrador can’t run again due to term limits, he supports Sheinbaum, who belongs to his Morena party.

López Obrador, despite not fulfilling many promises, is popular for his efforts to reduce poverty and help the elderly.

Sheinbaum claims to be independent but aims to build on López Obrador’s achievements, with Morena highlighting their success in reducing poverty. Economists note other factors, like increased remittances from abroad, also play a role in this.

Xóchitl Gálvez, a senator and businesswoman, is Sheinbaum’s main rival, chosen by a coalition of opposition parties. Gálvez criticizes the current government’s handling of crime and promises a tougher stance, but hasn’t detailed her plans for combating powerful criminal groups.

She also vows to strengthen institutions weakened by López Obrador, whom she accuses of being authoritarian.

Polls close at 18:00 local time, and the new president will take office at the end of September.

This summary is based on a report from the BBC.

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