On Saturday, 5 June 2021, regular municipal elections were held in Latvia. Unlike previous municipal elections, there were a significantly smaller number of local governments and councillors to be elected. The administrative territorial reform provided for creating of 42 municipalities in Latvia instead of the previous 119, while the number of councillors felled by almost half.
! Elections in the Riga municipality didn’t take place this year because the City Council was elected in the extraordinary elections last year and it continues to work until the elections of 2025.
! In Rēzekne municipality and Varakļāni municipality elections have been cancelled. Elections in these electoral districts are scheduled for September 11, 2021.
In municipal elections, for the first time, voters were given the opportunity to vote at any polling station in their municipality. At the polling station, the election commission’s employee scanned the voter's passport or identity card and made sure that the voter was included in the voter list of the respective municipality and that there was no indication of his or her participation in the elections in the register. If the voter had the right to vote, the polling station commission registered the voter in the electronic voter register and wrote additional information about the voter into the voters list, where the voter signed up for the receipt of electoral materials.
Citizens of Latvia and other Member States of the European Union over the age of 18 had the right to participate in local government elections. Citizens of the European Union had to be registered in the Population Register of Latvia 90 days before the elections in order to participate in local government elections in Latvia. All voters had to be registered in the Electoral register. Voters had the right to vote in the municipality where they had their registered residence 90 days before the Election Day or in the municipality where they owned real estate registered in accordance with the procedures specified by law.
Lists of candidates, pre-election programmes
The submission of lists of candidates for the Local elections of 2021 took place from 17 March to 6 April. 318 lists of candidates were submitted to local government election commissions, in which a total of 5448 candidates applied for entry to 40 municipal councils. Candidate lists and programmes
In municipal elections the Electoral register had been used for voter registration. Each voter was registered for voting in his or her electoral district according to the registered place of residence 90 days before the Election Day. In the Local elections of 2021, the day was 7 March.
An online voter register at polling stations was used for the first time in this election, which allowed voters to vote at any polling station in their municipality.
Voters could find out their electoral districts and polling stations of the district by using the e-service of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs or by calling the hotline 67049999.
Till 27 May, voters online or in person could also to change their electoral district if they wished to vote in the constituency in which they owned real estate.
The working time of polling stations on the municipal Election Day, 5 June, was between 7:00 and 20:00. Voters could also vote during early voting:
- on Monday, 31 May, from 16:00 to 20:00;
- on Thursday, 3 June, from 9:00 to 16:00;
- on Friday, 4 June, from 13:00 to 20:00.
In Madona municipality early voting took place:
- on Thursday, 3 June, from 16:00 to 20:00;
- on Friday, 4 June, from 11:00 to 20:00.
Postal voting from abroad
This year, for the first time, voters eligible to participate in municipal elections, which were staying abroad during elections, were allowed to apply for postal voting from abroad. Voters had to apply for postal voting in advance – from 27 March to 24 April. The Central Election Commission has registered and sent election material to 276 voters abroad.
The pre-election campaign period run from the 120th day (6 February) before the elections to the Election Day. Supervision of pre-election campaign was performed by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the National Electronic Media Council, the State Police and Municipal Police, depending on the type of the campaign. The chairperson of the polling station commission was responsible for preventing the campaign in polling stations and within the area of 50 metres from the polling station.