On Thursday, 17 December 2020, the Saeima supported amendments to the City Council and Municipality Council Election Law, which provides for the possibility for voters abroad to participate in municipal elections by postal voting.
It will be possible to vote by post from abroad already in municipal elections of 5 June 2021. Voters will have to apply for it from 27 March to 24 April.
These amendments have been drafted, taking into account that currently voters who have the right to participate in municipal elections, but who are staying abroad during the elections, cannot participate because the vote is held only in person on the territory of Latvia.
A voter in a foreign country will have to apply for a postal vote in advance. This will be done in the Public administration services portal www.latvija.lv, in the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, in the embassies or representations of the Republic of Latvia, as well as in the Central Election Commission (CEC). It will also be possible to apply for a vote by post via an official electronic address. When applying for a postal vote, the voter will have to indicate the e-mail address to which the website address should be send, where voting materials will be available.
The amendments provide that a voter will be able to apply for postal voting on the days 70 to 42 before Election Day.
All applications for postal voting will be collected by the CEC, which will make sure that the person has the right to vote in the certain municipality, the applications will be registered in the Electoral register and a website address will be sent to the email indicated by the voter where the electoral material will be available.
The voter will have to print the voting materials, fill out the selected ballot paper, which will have to be placed in the postal ballot envelope. After that, the ballot envelope will have to be placed in another - registration envelope and sent to the municipal election commission.
The right to participate in local government elections shall be for citizens of Latvia and other member states of the European Union, who have reached the age of 18, and who have registered place of residence in the administrative territory of the relevant municipality at least 90 days before the election day, or who have registered real estate in the relevant municipality.
The current municipal elections in Latvia will take place on 5 June 2021. The exception will be the Riga municipality, whose council was elected in extraordinary elections this year, and which will continue to work until the 2025 elections.
CEC Information Department
Tel. 67814900, 20237331