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Tallinn Looks to Disallow E-Voting at Local Elections

The party's complaint is based on what it says are flaws in the nation's much-touted e-voting system.
The party's complaint is based on what it says are flaws in the nation's much-touted e-voting system. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Tallinn City Council has filed a motion with the Supreme Court to abolish e-voting at future local elections.

City Council Chairman Toomas Vitsut says there are "questionable aspects" to the current regulations on e-voting.

Although the voting system introduced in 2005 is considered one of Estonia's success stories, and security concerns are generally dismissed in an era of "hanging chads" and other irregularities with paper ballots, Vitsut made it clear he was talking about a different aspect.

"Voters who use different voting options make their decisions in conditions that are legally completely different," he said. "Some can change their vote repeatedly while others cannot. Thus the elections are not uniform."

Vitsut also referred to a report released by the OSCE and the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which contained a number of recommendations for changing the e-voting system.

Deputy Mayor Taavi Aas said in briefing the City Council on the motion filed with the Supreme Court that the section of the Local Government Elections Act on voting is unconstitutional. The Constitution states that elections must be general, uniform and the voting must be secret. E-voting also takes place during a period when active campaigning is still permitted.

A total of 9.5 percent of those who voted used e-voting at the last local elections in 2009. The Centre Party received 31.5 percent of the overall vote that year, but only 14.6 percent of the e-vote.


Kristopher Rikken

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