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CVK urges government to allocate around 915 000 euros for signature collection

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CVK, funding, referendum, signature collectionAfter performing estimates, Latvia’s Central Election Commission (CVK) sent a letter to Finance Ministry and the Cabinet of Ministers with a request to provide funding of EUR 914 870 for the organization of signature collection for a referendum in relation to legislative drafts halted by the state president, as reported by CVK representative Laura Zaharova.

Of the requested funding, EUR 778 972 is planned to be used as wages, in which social insurance fees would take up 24.09% or EUR 151 224. EUR 85 401 is planned to be used as wages for members of commissions in 119 municipalities. EUR 338 847 is planned to be used as wages for signature collectors, Zaharova reports.

The estimate was composed for 625 municipal signature collection locations in Latvia, 44 in foreign countries and two at military bases. The costs also cover wages for signature collectors visiting homes and prisons.

When performing funding estimates, CVK took into account the signature collection of 2011, which is why the precise costs may yet reduce, the election commission notes.

Signature collection locations are to be established by city and county councils. Information is to be submitted to CVK by 10 January, as confirmed by the representative. Prior to the commencement of the signature collection process, information about locations will become accessible at www.cvk.lv.

CVK representative reports that collection of signature collection in foreign countries will be organized in Latvia’s embassies, general consulates and consulates. Times for signature collection are established by the heads of representation offices. CVK has sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, asking the ministry to provide a list of embassies and consulates in which signature collection will be organized. Information about locations for signature collection abroad will be published on CVK’s website. There will also be a hotline.

It is also planned to allocate EUR 15 500 for signature data input workers, EUR 148 000 for additional personnel and EUR 40 000 to cover CVK costs, Zaharova says.

EUR 131 600 will be used to procure goods and services for municipal election commissions to be used for transports, communications and office goods (signature forms, posters, hotline maintenance and training seminars).

CVK’s used signature collection systems upgrades would cost EUR 4 298, the election commission says. Representatives also explain it is also important to determine if residents even have voting rights before collecting their signatures and to make sure no one person is able to vote twice. To ensure data protection, it is necessary to add a data erase function to the system, CVK explains.

As it is known, following a request from Saeima opposition deputies, Latvia’s President Egils Levits halted amendments to the municipal snap elections rules. Signature collection will be organized between 16 January and 14 February to have the legislative draft submitted to a referendum.

It will be possible to sign at any registered signature collection location in Latvia. To participate in signature collection, residents need a valid Latvian citizen’s passport.


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