All systems go, says election chief

No problems are foreseen with carrying out scheduled parliamentary elections on October 4, Arnis Cimdars, chairman of the Central Election Commission (CVK) said Monday.

Speaking on LTV's Rita Panorama morning news show Monday, Cimdars said: "We can say that we are ready for the election."

Monday sees the first voting certificates being handed out to Latvian citizens who have identity cards but not passports. Recent changes to the law have made it possible for around 24,000 people who would previously not have been able to vote to participate.

"We'll see in coming days how popular it is, but the process [of obtaining a certificate] is simple," Cimdars said, reminding viewers that the certificates are issued free of charge and need to be obtained before polling day.

Ahead of voting day, voters should make sure they have their documents in order and familiarize themselves with the election lists of the political parties to avoid confusion, Cimdars advised, particularly with regard to which candidates were standing in which of Latvia's five electoral districts. 

He also paid tribute to the thousands of people who have volunteered to help the democratic process by acting as staff at polling stations and vote counters.

For an overview of how Latvian elections take place, refer to LSM's summary of the system here

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