Updated 2pm with uncollected vote document data
At least 14,473 voters will not cast their ballot in Saturday’s general election, after they failed to collect their voting documents by Thursday night's deadline.
The figure was provided by Electoral Commissioner Joseph Camilleri in the course of a press briefing at the Naxxar counting hall.
A total of 354,896 people are registered to vote in this general election.
The number of uncollected documents is up significantly from the previous general election in 2017, when 8,372 voting documents were not collected. Directly comparing the two figures is problematic, however, as the voting population has increased by 13,040 people since then.
One week ago, there were 37,000 uncollected voting documents.
Electoral Commission Joseph Camilleri said he and his team had been working on the figures until the early hours of the morning.
Times of Malta has also published a breakdown of the data by region which shows districts 10 and 12 have the highest proportion of uncollected voting.
A lower turnout?
Both Labour leader Robert Abela and his Nationalist counterpart Bernard Grech have been urging voters to collect their documents, and polls have suggested turnout may be lower in this election than in previous ones.
Sources in the election strategy teams of the two main political parties say this election could see the lowest turnout in recent electoral history. A poll published on Thursday by L-Orizzont forecast roughly 88 per cent turnout. In the 2017 general election, turnout topped 92 per cent.
Political analysts predict that abstentions mostly harm the incumbent party, as being government is more likely to result in failing to satisfy voters than being in opposition.
That said, incumbency gives parties the chance to address any grievances before the final polling day.
Malta’s election turnout has been on a steady decline but remains among the highest in Europe and has always topped 90 per cent.
By way of comparison, around 70 per cent of British voters showed up to decide whether or not the UK should remain in the EU, and in the US, voter turnout fell to a 20-year low of 55 per cent when Donald Trump took over the White House in 2016.