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5 Things to Know About The Haitian Elections

by Brandi Kellam /
A woman casts her ballots at a polling station in the Licee of Petion Ville during the presidential elections in Port-au-Prince on October 25, 2015. Haiti is holding presidential elections, legislative and municipal elections. AFP/Getty Images
 A woman jumps across the debris inside the National Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, searching for anything of value, January 7, 2010. Many of the squatters living outside the walls the National Cathedral were killed when the historic church came crashing down on their dwellings. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images) Miami Herald / MCT via Getty Images

It's been almost six years since the devastating earthquake in Haiti which killed more than 200,000 people, destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings and homes, and displaced more than 1.5 million people at the height of the crisis.

On Sunday Haitians went to the polls to select leaders they hope can lift the nation out of chronic poverty and turbulence. Voting was relatively orderly across the nation of some 10 million people, although there was some confusion and logistical problems.

Here are five things to know about Sunday's elections:

1. This will be the second Presidential election for Haiti since the quake. Current President of Haiti Michel Martelly is constitutionally barred from running for reelection.

 Haitian President Michel Martelly receives his ballot to vote at a polling station in the Lycee National de Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince on October 25, 2015. Haiti is holding presidential, legislative and municipal elections. (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images

2. Haitian voters have 54 contenders vying for President to choose from according to the Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) which is Haiti’s provisional electoral council. Four of those candidates are female. A runoff with the top two candidates is scheduled for late December.

 Election workers prepare ballots for voters at a polling station in the Licee of Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince on October 25, 2015, during the presidential elections. Polling stations opened in Haiti early Sunday, with some 5.8 million people eligible to vote for a new president amid serious security concerns. AFP/Getty Images

3. In addition to a preliminary round of presidential elections, there were also second rounds of legislative elections on Sunday – including a re-do of some parliamentary elections for electoral districts that were marked by violence during the first round of parliamentary elections on August 9th, 2015.

 A torn ballots and ballot box are seen on the floor of a voting station after a group of people entered and and began tearing them up during the Legislative Elections in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on August 9, 2015. After nearly four years of delays, Haiti staged legislative elections Sunday in a vote overshadowed by fears of violence and poor turnout. Polling stations opened at 6:00 am (1000 GMT) for the first time since President Michel Martelly came to power in May 2011. The poorest country in the Americas, Haiti suffers from a history of chronic instability and is still struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake. AFP PHOTO/HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images

4. Grammy award winning artist and producer Wyclef Jean traveled to Haiti to cast his vote today for Jude Celestin. Jean declared his candidacy for President of Haiti in the 2010 elections, but was disqualified from the race due to a residency requirement.

5. The US has provided more than $30 million to support the Haitian elections this year. According to a State Department Spokesperson, $28.8 million came through USAID and supported a range of electoral technical assistance, capacity building, and observation. INL provided an additional $2.8 million to promote electoral security and boost Haitian National Police communications and logistics capabilities.

  Joe Raedle