Voter apathy sees 21,500 voting documents uncollected so far

6.1% of voters have not collected their voting document from their locality, a 2.5-point increase on 2017 • Documents will now have to be collected from the Naxxar counting hall and the Electoral Commission's office in Victoria, Gozo

Voters will have to be in possession of a voting document to be able to cast a vote on election day
Voters will have to be in possession of a voting document to be able to cast a vote on election day

Around 21,500 voting documents remained uncollected or undelivered by Sunday noon when collection in the respective localities came to an end.

This equates to around 6.1% of all eligible voters, which represents at 2.5-point increase over the same figure five years ago.

This is another indication of what many expect to be a lower turnout in Saturday’s election. It comes 24 hours after the turnout figure for early voters on Saturday hit 85%, which represents a six-point decline over the early voter turnout from 2017.

From Monday 21 March, anybody wanting to pick up their voting document will have to do so from the counting hall in Naxxar or the Electoral Commission’s office in Victoria, Gozo. Voting documents can be picked up between Monday and Wednesday between 8am and 9pm, and Thursday until midnight. No voting documents can be distributed on Friday and Saturday, election day.

Five years ago, at the same juncture, 12,339 voting documents remained uncollected or undelivered, equivalent to 3.6% of eligible voters.

The voting document is essential to be able to vote. The first phase saw police officers distribute voting documents door to door and during the second phase people could collect their document from their locality’s police station or local council.

This last stage is considered to be a bigger inconvenience since voters will have to travel to Naxxar or Victoria.

Both major parties have been emphasising the need for people to pick up their voting document and go out to vote on Saturday 26 March amid growing voter apathy.

MaltaToday’s rolling survey has projected that the ratio of valid votes cast could be 86.9%, which equates to a turnout of around 88%. This would represent a significant decline from five years ago when the turnout stood at 92.1%.