Analysts say a moderate Islamist coalition that includes Algeria's ruling National Liberation Front is expected to emerge as the top vote-getter when the country announces preliminary election results on Friday.
An Islamist victory in Algeria's first elections since the Arab Spring, would echo trends in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.
On Thursday, voters cast ballots for the 462-member parliament. About half of the 44 political parties that competed were legalized this year.
Opposition activists citing ongoing distrust of promised government reforms had urged voters to stay away from the polls.
The interior ministry said voter turnout was 44 percent, compared to a record low turnout of 37 percent in the 2007 elections.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had announced a series of constitutional reforms after pro-democracy protests erupted last year.
Also, his government, for the first time, admitted international election observers as part of efforts to boost transparency.
The new parliament will vote on proposed constitutional changes and lay the groundwork for presidential elections in 2014.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.