The number of people who did not collect their voting document for this year’s European Parliament and Local Council elections has almost doubled.
According to figures released by the Electoral Commission, 38,737 voting documents remained uncollected. That’s one in ten of all registered voters.
This represents a steep climb compared to the last MEP election in 2014 when 1,856 voters (6.3%) did not collect their voting documents.
Even more people failed to collect their documents for the local council elections, with 21.9% of people (92,398) failing to do so.
It is hard to compare this figure with previous years at it is the first time all 68 localities are voting at the same time. However, in the 2013 and 2015 election, the rate of uncollected votes was 12.9 per cent.
The electorate, it should be noted, has substantially increased. The voting age was lowered to 16 and there are 18,084 registered voters who are nationals of other EU member states.
St Paul’s Bay, the locality which actually receives the most in local council funding from government, had the highest number of uncollected voting documents with 32.1% of people not picking up the document.
This was followed by St Julian’s, with 26.3 per cent, Gżira and Sliema, with 25.3 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.
Potentially indicating that foreign voters are behind the increase, all of the four localities have some of the largest foreign communities in the country. In fact, St Paul’s Bay and St Julian’s feature more foreign voters than Maltese voters.
On the other end of the spectrum, Kercem and Fontana in Gozo had the lowest rate of uncollected votes, both standing at 5.5%. In Malta, Santa Luċija posted the lowest number of uncollected votes (1.8%).
Malta will be using an electronic voting system for the first time this year. The projections for a majority vote are expected at around 8am on Sunday, an hour after the manual vote checking begins.
Voting halls in each locality are open till 10pm today.