Justice ministry sets about clarifying e-voting rules

E-voting. Source: Priit Mürk/ERRR

The Ministry of Justice has introduced legislative intent to change Estonia's e-voting rules with the aim of achieving clearer and more transparent regulation.

The Supreme Court pointed to formal shortcomings in e-voting regulation both following the 2019 and 2023 parliamentary elections. In 2019, the Supreme Court's Constitutional Review Chamber found that aspects of determining the election result, vote counting and organization, the signing of results and their entry into the elections information system should all be clarified.

This spring, the chamber pointed out that e-voting organization is provided by the Riigikogu Election Act and the National Electoral Committee and the National Electoral Service's legal instruments, which are slanting toward subordinate acts. That is why even people with solid knowledge of the law might find it difficult to fully understand the rules. Electronic voting is less accurately regulated in acts governing elections than its traditional counterpart.

Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform) said that the ministry plans to rectify these shortcomings.

"Integrity and clarity of e-voting rules will allow all groups in society to better understand the mechanism and ensure the continued trustworthiness of the public service," the minister remarked.

The ministry plans to better explain the roles of the Information System Authority (RIA) and public electoral services, with the latter in charge of elections' organization, management and supervision.

While the counting of e-votes is currently regulated through government decisions and the Electoral Service's orders, changes would include e-voting regulation in laws that are the purview of the parliament, Maria-Elisa Tuulik, head of public relations for the Justice Ministry, told ERR. She added that the Riigikogu will retain the right to delegate important decisions to the government.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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