Black smoke billowing from the roof of the Sistine Chapel Tuesday indicated the 115 cardinals tasked with selecting the leader of the Catholic Church still haven’t made up their minds.
It would have been a surprise if the new Pope was selected on day one.
Like previous modern conclaves, the 1st ballot serves as a sort of primary, with a number of cardinals emerging as nominees. Behind the closed, wooden doors of the Sistine Chapel, theoretically all 115 cardinals are candidates vying for the two-thirds majority, or 77, of the votes.
Two rounds of voting happen in the morning, and two in the evening daily, as needed, until a pope is elected. When the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics is chosen, white smoke will pour out of the chimney, dissipating into the Vatican City sky.