E-votes spiked in final hours of elections

Online voting in the 2023 Riigikogu elections on Saturday evening. March 4, 2023.
Online voting in the 2023 Riigikogu elections on Saturday evening. March 4, 2023. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

Electronic votes cast in the 2023 general elections spiked when e-voting started as well as in the final hours of voting. On average, 2,476 votes an hour were cast electronically over six days, whereas people were more active in the mornings and evenings.

Data from the National Electoral Office suggests that the e-voting system was used 324,301 times in the March 5 elections. "This covers all votes cast, including repeat e-votes – if someone voted twice, this figure reflects that," said Kristi Sobak, press representative for the office. In the end, 313,514 electronic votes were counted, putting the number of repeat votes at 10,787.

The busiest hour of e-voting (11,029 votes cast) occurred between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, immediately before e-voting ended. The previous hour saw 8,065 e-votes cast. The first hour of electronic voting on Monday, February 27 culminated in 7,298 votes.

Electronic voting was least active between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., with fewer than 100 people voting during these hours on some days. The lowest point came between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on March 2 when just 45 e-votes were cast.

Hourly overview of e-voting activity. Source: National Electoral Office

While voting officially ended at 8 p.m. on Saturday, 110 votes were counted after 8 p.m. as people who had logged in to the e-voting environment before 8 p.m. were given the chance to cast their vote.

The March 5 elections were the first where the number of e-votes exceeded that of paper ballots. In all, 6154,009 citizens voted of whom 301,495 on paper and 313,514 electronically.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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