At a campaign event on Saturday, Mr. Bolsonaro stated that there was “no way” to [I won’t] win at least 60 percent of the vote.”
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, oversaw a turbulent first presidential term. The president dismissed Covid-19 as a “little flu”, opposed social distancing and the use of masks, and delayed vaccine purchases.
Mr. Lula was president for two terms between 2002 and 2010. After leaving office, he spent 580 days in prison for passive corruption and money laundering. The Supreme Court overturned his convictions last year, allowing him to run again.
Luiz Garcez, 49, voted in the southern city of Curitiba, saying Bolsonaro’s presidency is “one of the best in history” because “he has built a lot and helped the country”.
Analysts said many voters turned back to Mr Lula because of the pandemic, a slow economic recovery that has not yet reached the poor, and high inflation.
Bolsonaro has received strong support from evangelicals and white men, while Lula is more popular with female voters, minorities and the poor.