The results of the Riga City Council’s extraordinary elections on the night of August 30 could start from around the smallest polls around 1 o’clock, while most of the results could be gathered around 3 or 4 o’clock, Kristīne Bērziņa, Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), told a press conference today.
Juris Kokins, Chairman of the Riga City Election Commission, pointed out that due to the forthcoming heavy workload in these elections, it may happen that after the votes for the parties have been counted and the marks scanned, the election commissions will go on hiatus. In that case, the marks for the candidates would be counted on Sunday, 30 August, and the results for the elected Members could be available on Sunday afternoon or evening.
Kokin said that for the last two days – on August 28 during the previous vote and on August 29 – election day – members of the election commission would have to work “in an abnormal time regime that requires similar endurance as the military”. Also in connection with the monitoring of Covid-19 restrictions, the workload of election commissions will be increased, said the head of the Election Commission.
Therefore, speaking about the above-mentioned times for summarizing the results, the head of the Election Commission indicated that he did not guarantee that the counting process would be fast, because the members of the election commissions would be tired. Kokins said that the latest information from the largest polls usually arrives around 6 or 7 in the morning, and also drew attention to the fact that there may always be some unforeseen problems with the equipment, as has already happened in preparation for the Riga City Council emergency elections.
Bērziņa pointed out that preliminary information about the activity, or how many voters will have voted by 10 pm, when the opening hours of the polls will end, could be available around midnight according to previous experience. These initial data may not yet include information on the number of voters in their place of residence. The head of the CEC also pointed out that the speed of gathering information will depend on the capabilities of election commissions.
As reported, on election day, August 29, polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Three days before the election, you can vote in advance: Wednesday, August 26, from 4 to 9 p.m .; on Thursday, August 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m .; on Friday, August 28, from 12 to 20.
In Riga City Council elections, it will be possible to vote in any polling station, but if it is not the polling station where the voter is registered, then the voter must plan the time until the representative of the selected polling station will contact the polling station.
Citizens of Latvia and other European Union member states, starting from the age of 18, who had a registered residence in the administrative territory of Riga 90 days before the election day – on 31 May this year or who own real estate in the administrative territory of Riga, have the right to participate in Riga City Council elections if they have used opportunity to register for elections until August 15.
The voting document for the Riga City Council elections will be a valid passport or identity card (eID). Turnout will not be stamped in the passport and voter lists will be used to ensure the “one voter – one vote” principle.
To reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus infection, voters are encouraged to use a mouth and nose mask. Disposable face masks will also be available at the polling station. While staying at the polling station, voters will have to keep a distance of two meters and disinfect their hands. Voters are also invited to use their pen at the polling station. Pens will also be available at the station. If the epidemiological situation in the country deteriorates significantly, safety measures may be strengthened and the use of masks may be made mandatory in consultation with the Center for Disease Prevention and Control and other responsible authorities.