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Parliament Sets up E-Voting Working Group

On June 9, the Parliament's Constitutional Committee established a working group tasked with shoring up regulations related to the country's much-touted e-voting system.

The group will be made up of MPs Jaak Allik, Peeter Laurson, Valdo Randpere and Priit Toobal, along with National Electoral Committee Chairman Heiki Sibul, legal adviser Ülle Madise and the State Chancellery's elections adviser Priit Vinkel, reported.

Though Estonia's groundbreaking national e-voting system, introduced in 2005, is widely considered reliable by international observers, it came under fire last month after an OSCE review found a number of legal and procedural holes in the way it was being used.

In early June, the Tallinn City Government filed a motion with the Supreme Court to abolish e-voting at future local elections, citing many of the same concerns.

Among complaints voiced by City Council Chairman Toomas Vitsut was a lack of uniformity between electronic and paper voting, as those participating in the former are allowed to change their votes multiple times while others are not.

Despite possible problems, the system's popularity is not in doubt. Over 24 percent of voters who cast their ballots during the March parliamentary elections did so electronically.


Steve Roman

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