Riga elections voting activity relatively low

Saturday, August 29, is the official day of Riga City Council emergency elections. Voter activity, partially due to COVID-19, has been relatively low, according to data from Central Election Commission (CVK).

Eligible citizens were able to cast their vote from 7:00 to 22:00. 

From 7:00 to 20:00, only 19.33% of eligible voters had cast their vote. This is lower than during the previous elections in 2017 and 2013. Since Wednesday, early voting was possible. Over these three days, 81,228 or 19.24% of eligible Rīga citizens had cast their vote, the total since Wednesday amounting to 38.57%.

Voter activity in previous elections. Data: CVK

 

 

 

Voter activity per hour. Data: CVK

Due to longer hours of polling station work and extra safety precautions, results are likely to take longer to calculate, said representatives of CVK. Most results would come early Sunday morning.

At polling stations, people are asked to comply with distancing, avoid crowding, and observe general safety measures. Face masks will be available and are recommended but not mandatory. People are asked to take their own pens but if necessary, the polling station will provide one.

Voters are asked to go to their assigned voting district, as changing districts will take time.

15 political forces, who have submitted their lists of candidates, have applied for the Riga City Council's emergency elections.

In February this year, the Latvian Saeima voted to dismiss the Riga City Council. The extraordinary elections were originally planned for April but following the state of emergency the date was changed several times until it was set to August 29.

More information in English on the election procedure is available at the Central Election Commission website

It is unlikely that any one party will dominate the results, with municipal administrations generally formed from sometimes complex alliances and agreements. However, with the capital city accounting for around a third of the population of the country and with Rīga as the commercial, transport, cultural and political center of the country, the position of Rīga mayor is arguably the third most powerful in the country after the President and Prime Minister.  

 

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