Elections of 5 June 2021
On Saturday, 5 June 2021, regular municipal elections will be held in Latvia. Unlike previous municipal elections, there will be a significantly smaller number of local government and councillors to be elected. In the result of the administrative territorial reform, which currently is carried out, there will be 42 municipalities in Latvia instead of the previous 119, while the number of councillors will fall by almost half.
In municipal elections, voters are expected to be able to vote at any polling station in their municipality. This is provided for by amendments to the City Council and Municipality Council Election Law and amendments to the Electoral Register Law. It is planned that at the polling station a member of the polling station commission will scan the voter's passport or identity card and make sure that the voter is on the electoral list of the respective municipality, as well that his or her participation in the elections is not already registered. The system will register the voter in the electronic voter list, while a member of the polling station commission will record the voter information on the voters list, where the voter will sign up for the receipt of electoral materials.
At the same time, the Saeima is also considering amendments to the law, which provides for the possibility for voters abroad to participate in municipal elections by postal voting.
Citizens of Latvia and other Member States of the European Union over the age of 18 have the right to participate in local government elections. Citizens of the European Union must 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 must be registered in the Electoral register. Voters have the right to vote in the municipality where they have their registered residence 90 days before the election day or in the municipality where they own real estate registered in accordance with the procedures specified by law.
Lists of candidates, pre-election programmes
According to the City Council and Municipality Council Election Law currently in force, the submission of lists of candidates for the Local elections of 2021 should take place from 16 to 26 April, but if the possibility of voting by post from abroad is supported, the submission of lists of candidates could take place in March.
In municipal elections, the Electoral register shall be used for voter registration. Each voter is registered at his or her polling station according to his registered place of residence 90 days before the election day. In the Local elections of 2021, the day will be 7 March.
It is planned that an online voter register at polling stations will be used for the first time in this election, which will allow voters to vote at any polling station in their municipality.
Voters will be able to find out their constituencies and polling stations of the constituency from March by using the e-service of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs or by calling the hotline.
For a certain time before the elections, voters will also be able to change their constituency online or in person if they have chosen to vote in the municipality in which they own real estate.
The Saeima is currently considering amendments to the law, which provides for setting the working time of polling stations on the election day, Saturday from 7:00 to 20:00, as well as stipulating that early voting takes place on Monday, Thursday and Friday of the election week.
The pre-election campaign period shall run from the 120th day to the election day. Supervision of pre-election campaign shall be performed by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the National Electronic Media Council, the State Municipal Police, depending on the type of the campaign. The chairperson of the polling station commission shall be responsible for preventing the campaign in polling stations and within the area of 50 metres from the polling station.