Those who vote get to choose: The upcoming 2024 European Parliament Election

Let’s vote!

The European Parliament election takes place every five years. This year, voters will decide which members are going to represent Latvia over the next five years. Every vote counts. Don’t let someone else decide in your place. LNAK asks that you not make the excuse that you don’t understand anything about European politics. Voting happens at the beginning of June. Between now and then, we will help shed light on the European Union, the candidates, and the process, so that you can cast an informed and thoughtful vote.

On Friday, February 16, the Central Election Commission of Latvia issued a press release regarding the voting process for Latvian citizens who live outside of Latvia.

Latvian citizens who will not be in Latvia on June 8 have two ways to vote.

Every citizen outside Latvia will be able to register to vote by mail. Registration is done through the website. Registration is open between May 4 and May 31 (Latvian time). We expect that you will need an e-ID card and a card reader to use this e-service. Over the next months, we will provide instructions on how to use your e-id card, in case the process is new to you. Please check that you have a valid e-id card, and if not, please get in touch with the Latvian Embassy in Canada to renew it. If you do not have an e-id card reader, you can purchase one online. They are not expensive, but since it’s not a technology used much in Canada, they can be hard to find in a bricks and mortar store.

Once you have registered online, you will receive information on how to actually cast your vote. You will be able to download the voting materials, and choose the ballot that represents the candidate list that you wish to support.

After printing your ballot and following the mailing instructions, you need to send your vote by mail to the riding in Rīga at Smilšu iela 4, Rīga, Latvia LV-1050.

It must reach the riding in Riga by the morning of June 9, which is when ballot counting begins in Latvia.

The Central Election Commission also offers the opportunity to establish a physical location for voting. The Foreign Ministry will suggest locations in countries with Latvian diplomatic and consular services. It is also possible for citizens who collect at least 36 signatures to request the establishment of a voting station. Any such requests need to be submitted to the Central Election Commission no later than March 25.

You can read more details here: Balsošanas iespējas tautiešiem ārzemēs (in Latvian)

A few facts:

– The European Parliament (EP) has 706 members

– currently Latvia has eight members in the European Parliament: Andris Ameriks, Ivars Ijabs, Sandra Kalniete, Dace Melbārde, Nils Ušakovs, Inese Vaidere, Roberts Zīle un Tatjana Ždanoka.

– The European Parliament has opened an investigation into news reports that a Latvian member of the assembly, Tatjana Ždanoka, has been working as a Russian agent for several years.

– The number of Latvian members in the EP is being increased to nine for the next term

– in the running are 272 candidates from 16 lists