Absentee ballot applications drop 40%

A total of 539 citizens have applied to vote by mail in the Sept. 17 parliamentary election in Latvia, according to data compiled by the Central Election Commission in Rīga. That is a nearly 40 percent decrease from the 890 persons worldwide who planned to cast absentee ballots in the last Saeima election.

Applications to vote by mail were due Sept. 2 and could be submitted to any of 21 Latvian embassies or consulates around world.

The greatest number of applications—174, or about 32 percent of the total—were received by the Latvian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Latvian Embassy in Oslo, Norway, was second with 121. That number typically includes Latvia’s soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Third was the Latvian Embassy in Bonn, Germany, which received 83 absentee ballot applications.

The embassies in London and Stockholm both received 36 applications. The embassy in Ottawa, Canada, got 30 applications.

The embassies in Azerbaijan, Greece, Israel, Russia and Turkey received no absentee ballot applications, according to the election commission’s data.

Persons who applied for absentee ballots had to complete an application form and send along their current Latvian passport. Absentee ballots were to be mailed to applicants between Sept. 3-7.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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