Thousands casting early ballots in local, Europarliament elections

More than 51,000 people in Latvia have already cast ballots in the first two days of early voting in local government and European Parliament elections, according to the Central Election Commission in Rīga.

Early voting—meant for those who will not be able to visit their local polling station on election day—continues with limited hours for one more day on June 5.

So far the greatest number of early ballots, a total of 19,601, has been recorded in Rīga, according to election commission data. Vidzeme province had the second highest number of early voters, 12,177, followed by Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale.

On election day, June 6, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 950 stations around Latvia. Races for the mayor of Rīga and for eight seats in the European Parliament are among those that are drawing attention in this election.

A total of 17 political parties have fielded 186 candidates in the European Parliament election. Among them are a number of dual citizens or former members of the exile community. Elections for the European Parliament are being held in all 27 member states of the European Union.

Latvian citizens abroad may vote by absentee ballot. Ballots had to be requested by May 7 and must be returned to Rīga by no later than 10 p.m. June 6, when counting starts.

Provisional results of local government elections will be reported overnight after polls close, the Central Election Commission has announced. Results of the Latvian vote for the European Parliament will not be announced in Rīga until 11 p.m. June 7 after the last polling stations close in Italy and Poland.

The Central Election Commmission will report voting results on the Web site

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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