EP election results will be know once final polling stations close in Italy - Central Election Commission chair

  • 2024-06-04
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The results of the European Parliament (EP) elections will be known with the closure of the last polling station in Europe, and this time the longest running polling station is in Italy - it will close on midnight from Sunday, June 9 to Monday, June 10, informed Kristine Saulite, chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CVK), during a press conference on the upcoming EP elections.

She pointed out that the elections have actually started. On Monday, 14,684 eligible voters in Latvia took the opportunity to vote in advance. This will also be possible on Thursday, June 6, from 16:00 to 20:00, and on Friday, June 7, from 13.00 to 18:00, while on election day, Saturday, June 8, voting in Latvia will take place from 08:00 to 20:00.

Saulite stressed that voters will be able to vote at any polling station they like. Information about them is available on the CVK website. Voters who want to vote from home for health reasons can find a sample application form on the CVK website.

Speaking about the election results, the head of the CVK stressed that the EP elections are different from national elections because people vote all over Europe. The results can only be announced when the last polling station in Europe has closed. This time, this polling station is in Italy and it will close at midnight.

"This is the European norm. Unfortunately, we will not be able to announce anything before then, not even preliminary data, but we can talk about the turnout in the EP elections," Saulite said.

The head of the inter-institutional working group to prevent possible threats to the democratic and fair conduct of the EP elections, Rihards Bambals, also took part in the press conference. He noted that these elections are associated with certain concerns and risks in the information space, such as deep fakes, disinformation and other manipulation of information.

Bambals stressed that there is no insurmountable threat or security risk to the electoral process that would prevent the EP elections in Latvia from taking place or that would impede their fair and secure conduct. He stressed that democracy is fragile and vulnerable - if there is a one percent risk that something could go wrong, it should be taken seriously, and it is.

"We call on people to vote. This is also one of the ways to overcome security risks and to counter those who try to say that we should not go to the polls and that the elections will be unfair. A low turnout would send the wrong signal that we do not share democratic values," said Bambals.

He urged people to remain somewhat skeptical and critical of any loud, scandalous, emotionally 'loaded' statements if they appear in the form of audiovisual content shortly before the elections or on election day, as such manipulation has been used in other parts of the world. Bambals also calls on residents to be civically active and to participate in the elections, and to report possible violations of the law to the relevant authorities.

As reported, election day in Latvia is Saturday, June 8, when voting will take place from 8am to 8pm.

Yesterday, early voting for the EP elections started at 945 polling stations across Latvia. It will also be possible to vote at 50 polling stations abroad on June 8.

Early voting will resume on Thursday, June 6, when voting will be open from 4 pm to 8 pm, and on Friday, June 7, from 1 pm to 6 pm.