In the first electoral appointment since the General Election two years ago, voters in Malta and Gozo today went to cast their votes in two elections for EU Parliament Members and Local Councils. The polls will close at 10 pm. Figures released by the Electoral Commission show that by 2 pm, 31.99% had cast their votes for EU Parliament Members while 27.58% had cast votes for Local Councils.
Those eligible to vote for EU Parliament Members total 332,888 with 10% not having collected their vote, that is, almost 39,000 voters. As for Local Councils, 341,183 are eligible to vote with 21% not having collected their vote, that is, 92,400 persons.
These are the first elections since Dr George Vella became Head of State. Together with his wife Ms Miriam Vella, the couple cast their votes at the Żejtun Secondary School at noon.
Earlier, the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, together with his wife Michelle, voted at the only voting booth where they reside, that is at Burmarrad, which forms part of St Paul’s Bay.
Earlier still, at about 9 am, the Leader of the Opposition and the Nationalist Party, Adrian Delia, voted at the Siġġiewi Primary School. For Dr Delia, this is the first electoral contest since he assumed the Leadership of the PN.
The media was also invited to cover the voting of two other Leaders: Carmel Cacopardo, Chairperson of the Alternattiva Demokratika who voted at Kalkara and Norman Lowell for Imperium Europa who voted at Attard.
This is the first time that the two elections have been held together and the first time that Local Council elections have been held on the same day everywhere. In addition, for the first time ballot papers carried a picture of the candidates. The elections are being held in 726 rooms at 114 different polling booths, the booths situated main in public schools. The total of ballot boxes being used is that of 1,451 and these will later be conveyed to the Counting Hall at Naxxar.
At Naxxar there are already ballot boxes with the votes of those who had to vote early such as the residents at San Vinċenz de Paul and 31 other homes for the elderly, inmates eligible to vote at the Correctional Facility at Kordin, those that had to travel overseas as well as that of the Assistant Electoral Commissioners who are on duty today, as well as patients in hospitals at Mater Dei, Karin Grech, Monte Karmeli and the Gozo General Hospital.
The polling booths will remain open until 10 pm.