On June 6, 2009 elections to the European Parliament (EP) and Local elections took place in Latvia. The Local elections took place in 118 constituencies, which borders correspond to the borders of 109 counties and 9 cities. At the same time Latvia was a single constituency in the EP elections.
Submission of candidates lists for the EP elections took place from March 18 to April 2, 2009.
Candidate lists for the EP elections were accepted by the Central Election Commission. Submission of lists of candidates took place from March 18 to April 2, 2009. There were eight candidates to be elected to the European Parliament from Latvia. In case the Treaty of Lisbon comes into effect a ninth deputy will join eight members of the EP from Latvia.
Parties and associations of parties could nominate up to 16 candidates in their lists for the EP election.
Submission of candidates lists for the Local elections took place from April 17 to 27, 2009. Candidates’ lists for the Local elections were accepted by elections commissions of cities and counties.
Unlike the Saeima (Parliament) elections and referenda, the Electoral Register is used for the EP elections and Local elections.
Each voter has been registered for elections on certain polling district according to his/her residence. Lists of voters were created in cooperation between the Central Election Commission, local authorities and the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. According to the Voters Register Law in March 2009 the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs has sent by post on a voter’s declared address the notice about the polling district where he/she is registered in.
Voters could find out their polling districts by calling to the Central Election Commission phone 67049999, on the website of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, or sending SMS message from a mobile telephone.
On the Election Day on June 6, 2009 polling districts were opened from 7.00 till 22.00.
Early voting took place at polling stations from June 3 to 5 some hours in a day. On June 3 polling stations were opened from 17.00 till 20.00, on June 4 – from 9.00 till 12.00 and on June 5 – from 10.00 till 16.00.
Voting at voters’ residence were organised for the voters who were unable to attend the voting premises due to ill health. Voters could use this possibility only in case they were on the territory of respective polling district on Election Day. As well voting at hospitals was organised for the EP election.
Citizens of other EU member states who reside in Latvia could also participate in the EP elections and Local elections in Latvia.
To participate in the Local elections these citizens should have been registered in the Residents’ Register of Latvia 90 days prior to Election Day. At the same time to participate in the EP election and to vote for the Latvian candidate lists non-national voters had to submit a respective application to the Central Election Commission by 7 May 2009. 249 citizens of other member states of the EU have used this opportunity.
Citizens of Latvia living abroad had the right to participate in the EP elections, too. These citizens could vote by post. Diplomatic and consular mission of the Republic of Latvia accepted the application for postal voting till 25 April, but the postal vote station in Riga till 7 May. 1,532 applications were received from voters residing in foreign countries.
Persons to whom imprisonment was applied as a preventive punishment or which served time in imprisonment places were eligible to participate in the European Parliament elections in Latvia for the first time. These voters could participate in elections by postal voting. The postal vote station received 3,005 applications from these voters.
It is important to note that citizens of Latvia residing in other EU member states had a right to choose voting either for the Latvian candidate lists or for the respective EU member state’s candidate lists in the European Parliament elections. To use this possibility the voters had to register for the EU elections in the respective member state and participate in elections according to conditions of the state. In case a voter had chosen this opportunity he/her name was deleted from the Latvian voter lists.