Saeima introduces emergency bill to extend Friday's voting hours

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MPs have put forward an emergency bill which would allow to extend the opening times of polling stations tomorrow.

The opening hours of Friday's polling stations for the European Parliament elections are expected to be extended until 8:00 p.m. They are to open to 10:00 a.m.

Saeima will vote on this matter later today, and it is expected that President Raimonds Vejonis will promulgate the bill into law, allowing for the working hours of the polling stations to be extended.

Polling stations today were open for three hours - from 9:00 a.m. until noon, but due to technical problems, many voters were not able to vote. This is the main reason MPs have put forward this emergency bill to extend tomorrow's working hours.

A glitch in the Central Election Commission's online data exchange system prevented several hundred voters from casting their ballots in the European Parliament elections on the second day of early voting, LETA reported.

It means voters cannot vote at any polling station they happen to be near, but can only vote at the polling station in their registered place of residence, greatly reducing the convenience of the system. 

By 11 a.m. around 100 voters, for instance, were turned away at a polling station in the House of Congresses in Riga.

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