Commission seeks volunteer monitors for Oct. 2 parliamentary election

In an effort to reduce doubts about how ballots are counted and whether voting results can be trusted, the Central Election Commission in Rīga is looking for volunteer monitors for Latvia’s parliamentary election set Oct. 2.

Any resident of Latvia—as well as interested persons abroad—can observe the election process, commission spokeswoman Kristīne Bērziņa told Latvians Online.

Sign-up for potential monitors runs from Sept. 13-30 and will be available through the election commission’s website,

To become a monitor, individuals will need to choose which polling station they wish to observe and will have to take an online course about rules governing the election for the 10th Saeima. Upon successful completion of the course, they will receive credentials via e-mail, which together with identification they must present on election day to the chairperson of the local election commission.

For the Oct. 2 election, a total of 64 polling stations will operate outside of Latvia. All polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

Volunteer monitors will be asked to observe the voting process and the counting of ballots. Monitors will watch to ensure that the process is done in accordance with Latvia’s constitution and election commission rules, and that no political agitation occurs at the polls. Monitors will have special forms that can be used to record their observations.

During the last parliamentary election four years ago, few problems were reported, according to a Central Election Commission report. At two polling stations in Latvia, the Interior Ministry investigated allegations of forged election documents.

Anyone who is at least 16 years old may become an election monitor, according to a press release from the election commission.

Further information about becoming an election monitor is available from the project coordinator, Anna Riekstiņa,

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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