NEWS Today Malta goes to the polls to elect its six representatives of the European Parliament. Voting booths are open from 7am and 10pm today. 21, 856 voting documents remained uncollected – an increase of 5,994 compared to the 2009 elections. This means that 322,518 individuals are eligible to vote today.
A total number of 32 candidates from seven parties are running for elections – PL, PN, AD, Alleanza Bidla, Alleanza Liberali, Imperium Europa and Tal-Ajkla. The elected MEPS will then form part of European political parties within the EU.
Voting was running smooth in most localities, as people trickled in and no queues being been reported anywhere.
Sorting of the votes will start at 10pm Malta time today. The first official count is expected between 1-2am on Monday, However, political parties will have a clear indication of who won the majority of votes on Sunday afternoon, soon after sorting starts at 12 noon.
The Electoral Commission has reminded people that the use of mobile phones, cameras and photographic equipment in voting stations is prohibited.
6,000 individuals were eligible to vote early, given that for some reason or other they are unable to vote today. These include assistant electoral commissioners, who voted yesterday, and residents of old people’s homes, who were allowed to vote last Saturday 17 May, together with those who will be abroad today.
The turnout for the last EP election, which took place on 6 June 2009, stood at 78.8% – with a total of 254,084 people turning up to vote, 3.6% less than the first EP elections back in 2004. This turnout marked the lowest voting turnout on record since 1955.
The highest turnout was registered in District 4, compromising Gudja, Hal Ghaxaq, Marsa , Paola, St.Lucia and part of Fgura, with a total turnout of 82.72%. Local council elections of 23 localities also took place on the same day.
[Sources: www.independent.com.mt and www.timesofmalta.com]