The parliamentary elections and referendum on the issue of a new nuclear power station in the Republic of Lithuania will be held on 14 October 2012.
The Foundation, a public benefit organization which main purpose is a concern for the public interest and well-being of the society, deems that the right to vote is one of the fundamental rights and duties granted to the country’s citizens. Consequently, on the basis of the information dated October 6-8, 2012 published in “Kurier Wileński” and the one received from the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania, the Foundation has prepared the most important issues associated with the election law. The main purpose of the initiative is to increase the awareness of the rights and duties concerning the elections in Lithuania.
The Foundation encourages all citizens to participate in the elections independently of the political party for which they are going to vote. The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights in every democratic country because it allows us to decide how our future will look like. Even one vote can profoundly influence the results of the elections. Allow your voice to be heard. Do not let others decide about your future. Your vote is very significant.
- The citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who possess the right to vote can vote either in a particular electoral district to which they belong or by post.
- The voters who on the election day cannot vote in their electoral district are granted the possibility to vote in any local government on 10 and 11 October from 8 am to 8 pm.
- The voters who in the time of elections are abroad can exercise their right to vote in two ways: directly in the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania or the Consulate, or by post. If you exercise the later option, make sure to inform the Electoral Commission of the Embassy or Consulate about your address. The Embassy or Consulate will send you the electoral bulletin. The polling will last until 12 October to 4 pm (local time). The diplomatic representations will create an early list of voters.
- The polling will take place on the election day from 7 am to 8 pm in a polling station indicated by the electoral commission.
- Every voter who is going to participate in the polling should have an identity card and a certificate entitling him to vote.
- After the confirmation that the voter came to a proper electoral district, a member of the commission gives the voter a card with the seal of the electoral district which confirms that the voter presented himself on the polling and indicates a member of the commission from whom he will receive a ballot.
- After the receiving of the ballot, the voter goes alone to a polling booth and fills in the ballot.
- During the parliamentary elections every voter receives two ballots: the first to choose a candidate form a particular single member constituency; the second to choose a list of candidates form a multi-member constituency.
- On the single-member constituency ballot the voter marks the name of a particular candidate for the Parliament, voting “for”.
- On the multi-member constituency ballot the voter marks the list of candidates, voting “for”, and in special boxes of the ballot he writes numbers of five chosen candidates, expressing his opinion about them.
- If you make a mistake filling in the ballot but you have not put it in the ballot box yet, ask for a new ballot.
- Filling in the ballot outside the polling booth is strictly forbidden.
- The voter puts the completed ballot in the ballot box by himself.
- Part 1, art. 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania states that the most significant issues of the state and nation are solved through the referendum.
- Only one ballot is given to vote on the issue of building of a new nuclear power station in Lithuania.
- The citizens of the Republic of Lithuania participating in the referendum mark only one answer on the ballot – “Yes” or “No”.
- The participation in the referendum is voluntary and based on the democratic standards of the election law: general, equal, direct right to vote and secret ballot.
- The polling within the framework of the referendum is secret, no one can influence the will of the citizens.
Breach of the polling mode during the elections and referendum
- If during the same elections or referendum the voter casts his vote more than one time or votes illegally instead of a different person, he will be fined 500 – 1000 LTL on the basis of the electoral law or referendum.
- Disturbance to the execution of the election law or referendum (e.g. by mental constraint, bribery) is liable to penalty, including social work, fine, restriction of freedom, arrest, imprisonment up to three years (art. 172 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania)
Bribery of the voters
- During the electoral campaign for the Parliament and on the election day it is strictly forbidden to bribe the voters, give them various kinds of presents, reward them financially for voting for a particular candidate or list of candidates.
- Bribery does not include various printed materials, badges of the political parties (coalition) or a particular candidate, their production and free distribution.
- Complaints regarding the bribery of the voters are to be submitted to the district electoral commission.
If you have any question about the elections, send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone or send an SMS: 1855.
The European Foundation of Human Rights is ready to answer your questions as well (our email address: email@example.com)
Translated by Karolina Rolka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.