Deadline looms for election monitors; applicants abroad number just 3

Just one day remains for persons to apply to be volunteer monitors during the Oct. 2 Latvian parliamentary election, and so far just three individuals abroad have expressed an interest, according to a spokeswoman for the Central Election Commission in Rīga.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 30. As of Sept. 29, a total of 161 individuals had applied to be monitors in Latvia and abroad, election commission spokeswoman Kristīne Bērziņa told Latvians Online in an e-mail.

The three applications from outside Latvia were received from individuals in Canada, Finland and Georgia, she said.

The election monitor program is an effort by the election commission to reduce doubts about how ballots are counted and whether voting results can be trusted.

The program is open to any resident of Latvia, as well as persons abroad, who are at least 16 years old. In addition to more than 900 polling stations in Latvia, a total of 64 will be in operation outside of Latvia on Oct. 2.

Applicants to become to volunteer monitors must choose which polling station they wish to observe and must complete an online training course about rules governing the election for the 10th Saeima. Once the course is completed, volunteer monitors will receive credentials via e-mail. The online application is available on the election commission’s website,

Monitors will be asked to observe polling station activity and to report irregularities to the Central Election Commission.

Polling stations will be open worldwide from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time Oct. 2.

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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