The next parliamentary election – to the 14th Saeima – will take place on 1 October 2022, when 100 members of parliament will be elected for the next four years. Citizens of Latvia over the age of 18 have the right to vote. There are 25 million registered voters in the Nordic-Baltic region, but only a handful of them understands why the ballot looks like it does. In general, very little is known about the development, usage and documentation of the actual instrument of voting - the ballot paper.
”The Ballot” is an exhibition and meeting point to learn about and to discuss the development of democracy seen through this small but highly significant artifact. Why do the ballot papers look the way they do? How come the ballots are so different between similar countries? Can the ballot affect the preference of the voter? How do the ballots represent political trends and events over time?
This exhibition material encourages the study of the development of our democracies, and its content is designed in such a way that it is exciting for a wide audience - both students, professionals and every voter.
The opening of the exhibition and the meeting with Max Valentin, the curator of the exhibition, will take place on September 14 at 16:00 in Cēsis, in the CATA culture house, J.Poruka street 8.
The first version of the exhibition premiered at International IDEAS headquarters in Stockholm in November 2020. The exhibition mainly consists of real-size ballot papers from recent and historic elections in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden. There are also several ballots from other countries to show important and differences and similarities. There is also some voting equipment and both video and audio material that supports the exhibition. Lastly, there is also a set of playful instructions or methods for groups to interact with and deepen their understanding of the use of ballots.
From October 17 to November 13, the exhibition will be on display in Riga, at the Latvian National Library, and from November 24 to December 23 in Daugavpils, at Daugavpils Regional and Art Museum.