Thousands of Haitians lined up to cast their ballots Sunday in an election they hope will restore democracy to the island.

Early Monday, workers were counting the results by candlelight because many parts of the country have no electricity.

Preliminary results are expected later in the day. Final results will be announced later in the week.

At least two people were killed during Sunday's voting. A police officer and another man died in an exchange of gunfire at a polling station north in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, north of the capital.

More than a dozen party officials and political candidates have been killed in Haiti since late March some hacked to death with machetes.

About 60 per cent of eligible voters are believed to have turned out a figure that was higher than expected. Enthusiasm for the election was said to be low, partly because it was repeatedly postponed.

Some people had to wait in line for hours at polling stations. There were disputes over voting lists, and allegations of missing ballots.

Results of the last election in 1997 were annulled because of widespread fraud.

In 1987, at least 34 people were killed by paramilitaries in an aborted presidential election. The memories of that massacre are still fresh in the minds of many Haitians who stocked up on food and other basic necessities in supermarkets on Friday and Saturday.

Haiti, with a population of 7.5 million, has been ruled by dictators for most of its 200-year history, and the rare elections held were rigged.

For Sunday's elections, a team of international observers flew in to ensure that the voting was carried out fairly. The group included 10 Canadians.

Haitians will be choosing 19 senators and 83 members of Parliament. They're also set to elect over 7,000 mayors and city representatives.

Both of the main contenders for local and legislative seats the Lavalas Family of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and a block of six opposition parties proclaimed victory days before the elections.