Riga, July 25: A majority of voters in Latvia believe that it is important to ensure the possibility of voting at any polling station, even if it can cause difficulties, including additional costs, the possibility of technical disruption or others, according to a survey of voters conducted by the Central Election Commission (CEC) in cooperation with the Research Centre SKDS following the European Parliament (EP) elections of this year.
As part of the survey, respondents were asked to express their agreement or disagreement with statements made in connection with the European Parliament elections and their organisation. 80% of respondents agreed that the opportunity to vote at any polling station is important for them. At the same time, 42% would be ready to vote at their polling station, if the possibility of voting at any station was temporarily suspended for technical reasons. Meanwhile, 43% said they wouldn't go to their polling station in such a situation.
The survey also figured out the reasons that encouraged or deterred voters to participate in the European Parliament elections of 2019. The most frequently mentioned reasons for voting in the elections were the civic duty (46%) and the desire to support a certain party or candidate (15%). In the meantime, abstention was most often explained by the fact that it does not make sense (15%), is not interested in politics, the European Union, the European Parliament (11%), and by the belief that even if they participated in the elections, nothing would change for the better (10%). According to the survey, voters in the age group over 64 years (64.4%) were the most active in the elections, while the lowest turnout was seen among young people – 38.9% of those aged 18-24 used the opportunity to vote. The data also show that people with higher education and income participate more actively in the elections.
The Latvian residents eligible to vote were also asked whether they received a letter from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs containing the information about the polling station where they should vote in the EP elections. 55% of those surveyed said they had received the letter. 15% of respondents said they received an electronic letter sent to the electronic declaration system (EDS) of the State Revenue Service, while 5% also received this information to their official e-address. Meanwhile 28% of the participants of the survey indicated that they did not receive the letter. A majority (50.4%) of those surveyed believe that it is necessary to send informative letters about the polling station in the future too, while 37% agreed with the statement that postal letters should be refused. At the same time, 68% of respondents acknowledged that it was easy to find out their polling stations in the European Parliament.
The survey was conducted from 7 to 17 June 2019 throughout Latvia and involved 891 Latvian citizens aged 18 to 75.
The results of the survey are available in the section “Studies” of the CEC website.
CEC Information Department