From now, voters abroad will be provided with the possibility to sign up for a draft law, draft amendments to the Constitution or a proposal for the revocation of the Saeima, which is registered in the Central Election Commission (CEC), in person – in diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Latvia. This is stipulated by the amendments to the Law on National Referendums, Initiation of Laws and European Citizens’ Initiative, proposed by the CEC and supported by the Saeima in its final reading on 3 December 2020.
Voters abroad will be able to sign for voter initiatives at the diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Latvia that should be certified by a consular official who is entitled to perform notarial functions. It is expected that voters abroad will have this opportunity in the near future, following the entry into force of the amendments. Until now, voters in foreign countries have been able to participate in the collection of signatures if they had an e-signature or one of Latvia's online banking authentication tools.
At the same time, the amendments to the procedures for collecting signatures, supported by the Saeima, also provide for a waiver of the requirement that the voter should deliver his or her signature form to the initiative group so that the last could submit it to the CEC. In view of the fact that signature certificates are registered electronically in the CEC's signature collection system, including when they are signed on manually, this requirement has become inappropriate and creates an additional administrative burden for voters.
The amendments to the law will come into force after the President of Latvia proclaims them.
The current procedure for collecting of signatures provides that within 12 months from the registration of an initiative in the CEC, voters can sign up for the initiative either electronically, in the portal “Latvija.lv”, or in the municipal signature collection sites – in the institutions for the declaration of a place of residence, in the Orphan's Courts, which perform notarial functions, with the head of the municipal government, as well as with sworn notaries. The state fee should be paid for certifying the signature in the municipalities and the notaries, the subscription on the “Latvija.lv” portal is free of charge.
The Constitution states that electors, in number comprising not less than one tenth of the electorate, have the right to submit a fully elaborated draft of an amendment to the Constitution or of a law to the President, who shall present it to the Saeima, or to initiate a national referendum regarding recalling of the Saeima.
CEC Information Department
Tel. 67814900, 20237331