Latvia might allow voting with expired ID

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The Ministry of Interior will encourage the possibility to vote in the 14th Saeima elections with an expired passport or ID card, Minister of Interior Kristaps Eklons told Latvian Television on August 5.

He said that according to latest data, around 26,000 people's documents could have expired by Saeima elections, but this figure could still change.

In view of the lack of capacity of the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office (PMLP) as well as the pandemic, residents' abilities of renewing identity documents have been limited. 

“A solution has been found [..] to change the procedures for issuing documents so that people have the possibility not only to vote with expired documents but also to use different social services and other things,” Eklons said.

The Ministry will encourage the deadline to be extended not only until October 1, the Saeima election day, but until April 2023. This would mean that during that time, there would be no penalties for not renewing documents, and services would still be available.

He said that this idea had been discussed in a “narrow political circle”, but expressed hope that the parties forming the government would support the idea.

“These risks and threats [for such a solution] are minimal, we are simply finding a way to help people to vote what would be nationally important, but also personally to help people receive medical services, social services,” the minister said.

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