For the 12th Saeima Elections, 99 Polling Stations have been set up in 42 Countries
At a press conference on 29 September, Arnis Cimdars, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC); Inita Dzene, the Director of the Consular Department of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Andris Teikmanis, the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, briefed the media on preparations for the elections of the 12th Saeima (Parliament) that are being held in Latvia and abroad on 4 October.
By joint efforts of the Foreign Ministry, the Central Election Commission, associations of Latvians living abroad, and Latvia’s honorary consuls, 99 polling stations have been established in 42 countries. More polling stations will open on this election day in 2014 than ever before. The Foreign Ministry is seeking to promote a higher voter turnout.
By means of internet teleconferencing, from London, Andris Teikmanis, the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, informed the media in Riga about preparations being made to receive voters on the premises of the Latvian Embassy’s new consular section. The Ambassador expressed hope that the new facilities will be conducive to quicker processing and service, and that a higher turnout of Latvian voters than usual can be expected. Ambassador Teikmanis pointed out that the 15 polling stations in the UK were established in places with the highest populations of Latvian citizens.
The Foreign Ministry Press Secretary, Ambassador Kārlis Eihenbaums introduced participants at the press conference to the website www.kurbalsotarzemes.lv which just opened. Using this site, Latvian voters who are outside Latvia on 4 October, can easily find the polling station closest to their place of residence abroad. To do that, voters enter the name of the place they plan to be on 4 October, or choose an option that allows the system to automatically trace their location and suggest the closest polling station.
Additional Information on Opportunities to Vote
The elections for the 12th Saeima are taking place on 4 October at 953 polling stations in Latvia and 99 polling stations abroad. The polling stations will be open between 7 am to 8 pm local time. Voters can cast their votes at any polling station in Latvia or abroad. A full list of polling stations and their addresses is available here.
As of 29 September, the polling stations offer full information about the pre-election programmes, lists of candidates, and the voting procedures. Information on all candidates is available here. Please bear in mind that when voting from abroad, it will only be possible to vote for candidates in the electoral district (constituency) of Riga.
From 29 September, voters unable to come to the polling station for health reasons, may apply for off-site voting.
All of Latvia’s citizens who have reached their 18th birthday by the day of the Parliamentary elections for the 12th Saeima are entitled to vote. Upon arriving at a polling station, voters must show a valid Latvian passport, and the passport will be stamped as a sign that they have taken part in the elections. Those voters that have only an electronic ID card (eID) and do not have a valid Latvian passport can are still able to participate in the voting if they show their electronic ID card along with a personalized “voter card”. The “voter card” must have been received by 3 October at the territorial section of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs which issued the voter’s ID card. Get further information at the link below:
Voters that travel abroad just before the elections and will not be able go to one of the 99 polling stations which have been established in other countries, may utilize the opportunity to submit ballots for safe-keeping three days prior elections on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of October at 61 polling stations in 39 of Latvia’s municipalities. Additional information this manner of voting is available at the following site:
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