Italians vote in 7 regional contests shaped by pandemic

ROME (AP) — Italians in seven regions are heading to the polls for two days of voting shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing to cast ballots in regional contests originally scheduled for the spring but delayed due to the pandemic. Italy has seen more than 35,600 confirmed virus-related deaths since February, the second-worst toll in Europe after Britain. In most regions, the election will be a test of the strength of the right-wing led by League party leader Matteo Salvini against the two governing parties, the 5-Star Movement and the left-wing Democratic Party. Italians also will vote on a referendum to reduce the number of lawmakers.

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