|A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez participates in a voting drill in Barcelona City, Venezuela, on Sept. 2, 2012. Venezuela held a national voting drill to test procedures for October's presidential election. (Xinhua/Juan Carlos Hernandez)
CARACAS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan authorities declared Sunday that a mock election held across the nation on the same day was a success.
Sunday's drill was the second of its kind held in Venezuela in the lead up to the country's contested presidential race scheduled for Oct.7.
"It's all going very well. That's good news for the electoral authority and good news for Oct. 7," said the National Electoral Council (CNE) chief Tibisay Lucena, who added the drill was introduced to give a testing to a new fully automated voting system that will be used in the upcoming presidential elections on Oct.7.
Both supporters of incumbent President Hugo Chavez, who is seeking reelection, and of his rival Henrique Capriles, the candidate of the opposition coalition Unity, headed to the polls early Sunday to cast their votes at more than 1,500 polling stations across the country.
The election drill was originally scheduled to take place last Sunday, but was postponed due to factors including a deadly oil refinery explosion and fire considered the worst industrial disaster in the nation's history.
Electoral officials said the drill was designed to help familiarize voters with the voting sites, identified by an inverted "V" at the entrance, as well as the automated process.
The drill also gave ruling and opposition party leaders an opportunity to rehearse mobilizing their supporters.
In October, voting stations will be set up in 24 states, 329 counties and 1,084 parishes, said CNE rector Socorro Hernandez.
Some 18.9 million Venezuelans will be eligible to vote in October.