Advance voting for the Riigikogu elections continues this week, with over 139,000 votes having already been cast, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday.
Around 107,000 of these have been cast online – online votes can be cast and recast as many times as a voter wishes, and can be overruled on polling day with a paper vote – while around 32,000 votes have been cast at select polling stations already open.
Politicians themselves have been voting also during this time, including the chairs of three of the parties running.
Center chair and Riigikogu Speaker Jüri Ratas opted to vote on-paper at a polling station.
Ratas noted that every vote counts, adding the composition of the XV Riigikogu can turn on a single vote, telling AK that: "Who ended up in the European Parliament has hinged on three votes; who has become president of the Olympic Committee has been dependent on a single vote, and who will get elected to the Riigikogu and who won't, has [also] turned on the one vote."
Lavly Perling, Parempoolsed leader, chose to cast her vote online, and did so at a cafe, together with her party-mates.
Perling told AK that: "Surely the most important thing is that you must vote. Let each person choose their own way of doing so, but e-voting is the quickest and easiest way. Take a little break between interviews on Ukraine, and a vote can be cast."
Isamaa's Helir-Valdor Seeder meanwhile went to a polling station in Viljandi.
"Every vote counts. As they say, every spine is important - not only in military exercises and in battle, but also in building democratic order and in democratic elections," Seeder said, referring to the "Okas" large-scale snap reservist military exercise.
Okas means quill, or spine, in Estonian, and in turn evokes the defensive spines on a hedgehog's back (one of the major regular military exercises is called Siil, which means hedgehog in Estonian).
Advance voting continues through to Saturday; polling day itself is on Sunday.
Select polling stations are open through to Thursday, while Friday and Saturday, all polling stations are open 12 noon to 8 p.m., the rationale being to allow those who cannot get to the electoral district in their registered place of residence, to vote on paper.
e-votes can be cast until 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 4.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'