A total 85.15% of people who were entitled to cast their votes early did so on Saturday, the Electoral Commission said.

It said that 8,224 of the 9,658 registered voters cast their vote.

Saturday’s early voters included European Parliament president Roberta Metsola, who urged all voters to take part in the general election.

Sources within the two main political parties predict voter turnout could be lower than the above 90% turnout normally registered in general elections. 

The majority of those who were entitled to vote early were residents at homes for the elderly. Others applied for early voting as they will be overseas or unavailable on March 26. Some of the other early voters were prisoners who have not yet been sentenced.

As of Friday, more than 37,000 voting documents had not yet been collected – a figure described as being “fairly high” by the electoral commissioner. Documents can be collected from local police stations until noon on Sunday.

Voting for the March 26 election will, as is customary, be held at polling stations set up in each town or village.

An exception will be made for anyone who is in forced COVID-19 quarantine or self-isolation on that date. Anyone in that position will instead vote at one of four specific COVID-19 polling stations being set up.

Those stations will be located in Ta’ Qali, at the Life Sciences Park next to Mater Dei Hospital, at Smart City or next to the outdoor gym in Xewkija.

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