The State Electoral Office rejected a request by the City of Tallinn to receive at least 20 percent more funding than allocated in 2019 for conducting the 2023 Riigikogu elections next March.
In a response sent to Tallinn City Secretary Priit Lello, State Electoral Office (RVT) Director Arne Koitmäe wrote that he understands the City of Tallinn's concerns regarding the financing of the Riigikogu elections taking place next year.
"Unfortunately, it won't be possible for the RVT to provide the City of Tallinn with 20 percent more funding than in 2019, as funding has been allocated at 2019 levels and it won't be possible to receive additional funding," Koitmäe explained. "Given that inflation increased this year, we will definitely request increased funding for the next elections."
Lello had submitted a request to the RVT on behalf of Estonia's capital city seeking at least 20 percent more funding for the organization of the 2023 Riigikogu elections next March than it had received for the previous elections in 2019.
Expenses involved in preparing for and organizing Riigikogu elections are covered from Estonia's state budget. Lello noted in his request that the RVT's planned allocation to the City of Tallinn is equal in size to the funding it received for the previous Riigikogu elections in 2019, i.e. €421,385.
"This is not enough to fulfill all electoral administrative tasks," the city secretary found.
He explained that the City of Tallinn's vote counting committee will have to verify the voting results of voters who permanently live abroad as well as those of voters who voted outside their assigned electoral district in the 2023 Riigikogu elections.
"Verifying the voting results of voters who voted outside their assigned electoral district on election night is substantial and time-consuming and requires the work of at least 20-30 people over six hours," Lello explained, adding that new this time is the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) for committee members to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and that transport costs have grown as well.
The 2023 Riigikogu elections, in which all of the Estonian parliament's 101 seats are up for election, will be held on Sunday, March 5.
MPs are elected to the Riigikogu for a five-year term.
Editor: Aili Vahtla