Latvians are heading to polling stations across the country and beyond October 1 in the 14th Saeima elections.
1,829 candidates of 19 lists are in the running for 100 seats in parliament and the chance to wield power for the next four years.
949 polling stations are open across Latvia with 81 more across the globe. Voters may vote at any polling station, regardless of their declared place of residence.
🔷 Šodien, 1. oktobrī - 14. Saeimas vēlēšanas.
🔶Iecirkņi https://t.co/aBtA5XmhFs būs atvērti 🕖 no plkst. 7.00 līdz 20.00.
🗣 Ja vēlēšanas kāds prettiesiskā veidā vēlas ietekmēt balsojumu, informē tiesībsargājošās iestādes pic.twitter.com/SFwkItButl
According to official figures, 63,432 people or 4.11% of the electorate had already taken the opportunity to vote early before polls opened on election day itself at selected polling stations. This is twice as much as in the previous elections, when around 33,000 people voted early.
In the first hour of polling stations being open, a further 23,757 people or 1.54% of the electorate voted, bringing turnout to 5.66%. By 12:00 that figure had risen to 22.94%, with voters appearing to be generally more active in the regions than in Rīga. By the same time in the previous Saeima elections of 2018, turnout was just over 20%, so indications are that final turnout could be higher this time around than the 54.5% turnout recorded in 2018.
The trend continued in the afternoon. By 16:00 turnout had reached 42.28% across the country as a whole, though only 33.88% in Rīga.
President Egils Levits was among those turning out to cast his vote Saturday morning, urging others to do likewise. He even walked away with some flowers.
The polling stations are open on election day, October 1, from 07:00 to 20:00.
The Google internet search engine was entering into the spirit of the day with a custom image on its homepage.
A brief overview of all standing candidate lists is available on our previous stories: