The Lithuanian ambassador to Canada, Darius Skusevičius gives us statistics on the 2020 parliamentary elections which took place in Lithuania on October 11, with runoffs on October 25. The newly elected parliamentarians were sworn in on November 13, with a new constituency for Lithuanians of the diaspora, won by Freedom Party leader Aušrinė Armonaitė. How many Canadians with Lithuania citizenship – and therefore the right to vote – cast their ballots?
The Lithuanian Embassy registered a total of 378 voters (381 in the second round), with 363 voting documents sent out (368 for the runoff) and 13 voting at the Embassy (the same number on Oct. 25). Thus 91% of registered voters (82% in the runoff) cast their ballots by mail and in person. In the 2016 elections, there were 157 eligible registered voters (158 in the second round), so this time, there were two and a half times more voters. As in 2016, the majority of voters chose to vote by mail.
Even with mail service being slower due to the pandemic, the number of mail-in votes grew appreciably, and early deadlines for registration were justified. With Canada Post estimations of mail delivery at 3 business days within the same province, 5 in the same region, and 9 within the country, the return of ballots from the furthest point, Vancouver, to Ottawa could not be guaranteed over fewer than 18 days. Having this in mind, the deadline for voting was set at September 16, but was obviously too short for the runoff election, with only 9 business days before the first and second vote. The Embassy received only 67 ballots by mail by October 25, and only 4 each from the furthest provinces, Alberta and British Columbia.
The Embassy registered Lithuanian citizens living in 8 of 12 Canadian provinces and territories (of those, there were 5 with more than one voter). There were 12 voters registered from Saskatchewan, where there is no official Lithuanian Community organization or Lithuanian Honorary Consul. Over 65% of registered voters were between 18 and 44 years of age.
More detailed results of the parliamentary elections confirmed by the Central Electoral Commission are available on these websites: