Some 6.7 million eligible voters hope that after inconclusive general elections in April and July, the third attempt to elect 240 lawmakers will result in a government to lead the European Union’s poorest member out of health and economic crises.
Bulgarians have voted for the third time this year with little hope that the latest general election will finally bring a stable government to fight the country's deadliest coronavirus wave.
Polls opened across the country at 0500 GMT (7 AM local) and close at 1800 GMT (8 PM) on Sunday.
"We must all vote but I'm also afraid that it will all be in vain... I don't have much hope," 62-year-old Milena Stoyanova told AFP on the eve of the election, summing up the general gloom.
While many said they won't bother to go to the polling stations, 35-year-old finance expert Petar Angelov said he'll "definitely vote... for change" and "a better future".
An election for the largely ceremonial post of president will also be held on Sunday.
Polls show incumbent Rumen Radev, 58, is poised to win re-election for a second five-year term after a likely run-off vote on November 21.
Bulgaria has been gripped by political uncertainty since April, when an election ended the decade-long rule of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his centre-right GERB party following massive anti-graft protests against him last year.
The interim administration failed to impose stricter measures and stop new infections and deaths from spiralling.
Voting for 'change'
Observers say Borissov is unlikely to find enough support to return to power for a fourth term.
Most hopes appear pinned on a pair of Harvard-educated former businessmen, Kiril Petkov and Assen Vassilev.
Their movement We Continue the Change was only formed in September but counts on coming in second and being able to unite others in a broader anti-Borisov front.
Their goal of eradicating corruption is gaining support in a country long notorious as the EU's most graft-prone member.
The party now polls neck-and-neck with the Socialists with around 16 percent of the votes.