On Saturday, 2 August 2008 the referendum about the Draft Law "Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia" took place in Latvia.
On the referendum day polling stations were open from 7 AM till 10 PM. There were 951 polling stations working in Latvia and 47 polling stations abroad. Regardless one's place of residence voters could visit any polling station in order to vote. Those voters in Latvia, who were unable to visit a polling station due to their health condition, could apply for voting at their location.
In the referendum, voters had to answer the question: "Do you support adopting Draft Law "Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia"? Possible answers were "For" and "Against".
The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced the referendum since the Saeima (Parliament) rejected, on 5 June, the draft amendments to the Constitution, which were supported by voters’ signatures, and after that the amendments should be delivered for a national referendum. Law "On Referendum and Initiation of Laws" provides that, in this case, a referendum must be held not earlier than one month and not later than two months from rejection of draft amendments to the Constitution by the Saeima.
There were 629,119 valid ballot papers received in the referendum. The referendum turnout was 42 %.
The results of the referendum indicate 608,847 voters i.e. 97% of voters participated in referendum have voted in favour and 18,857 i.e. 3% against the amendments to the Constitution. 1,415 ballot papers i.e. 0.22% of the all ballot papers were deemed invalid since they bore a “+” mark opposite both “for” and “against” answers or didn’t bear any mark.
According to the results of the referendum the Draft Law "Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia" has not been adopted. In order the draft amendments to the Constitution would be deemed adopted, at least 757,468 voters that is half of the electorate had to vote in favour of it in the national referendum.
The procedure of initiation of the draft amendments to the Constitution was started by the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia. The draft amendments to the Constitution, which has been passed for a national referendum, provides amending Articles 78 and 79 of the Constitution establishing that voters, in number comprising not less than one tenth of the electorate, have the right to initiate a procedure for the dissolution of Saeima.