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Ida-Viru County's turnout lower than average so far

Advance voting  in Tallinn on Monday, February 27, 2023.
Advance voting in Tallinn on Monday, February 27, 2023. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Ida-Viru County's election turnout was around 18 percent on Friday evening, five days after advance voting started. The county usually has a lower rate than the rest of Estonia.

Advance voting started on Monday and has turnout had already passed 35.5 percent by Friday evening.

All polling stations were opened at noon on Friday afternoon and queues formed outside the Geneva Culture Center in Narva, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Many voters already knew who they were going to vote for.

"I hope, however, that the lives of Russians will improve here. Narva is a Russian city. I would like to see less harassment from Tallinn. And, of course, I am for peace," said Vladimir.

Nadežda also hoped Russians will be treated well, she said: "We live here together with Estonians, Tatars and Ukrainians. We should have the same rights as Estonians."

By the evening turnout had hit 18 percent, which is around half as high as elsewhere in Estonia.

Volunteers encouraging citizens to vote said there was a lot of reluctance toward the elections this year.

Mayor of Narva Katri Raik said people are likely to vote on election day, which is Sunday.

However, she also acknowledged the mood of Narva's residents is low and she was not optimistic about turnout. She said it may further show the "divide" in society between the city and the rest of the country despite claims made by the Government Office that it has shrunk.

"Unfortunately, I do not believe this assessment, but we will see on election night," she said.

At the last election in 2019, Narva's turnout was 42 percent. Overall, turnout was over 60 percent across the country.

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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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