The government approved a bill by the coalition on Thursday that would shorten the period of e-voting in an election from seven days to three days.
The bill would shorten early voting, limiting it to a period from the sixth to the fourth day leading up to election day, regardless of the means. The bill was submitted by the parliamentary groups of the Center Party, the Social Democratic Party, and IRL.
It effectively harmonizes early voting and e-voting. The latter is currently available for a longer period. As a next step, the government is including the Ministry of Justice as well as the Chancellor of Justice to define whether or not the new limitation should apply to local elections beyond general and European parliamentary elections.
Current law stipulates that early voting is possible from the tenth to the seventh day leading up to an election in a single district, from the sixth to the forth day in all voting districts, and from the tenth to the fourth day if the electronic vote is being used.
Rõivas: Change is a step backwards
Deputy speaker of the Riigikogu and former prime minister, Taavi Rõivas (Reform), criticized the government’s plan to shorten the e-voting period before elections from seven days to three.
“Populist fears are cultivated in people to justify cutting the e-voting period, and the credibility of the e-solutions created by our own state is undermined. This is a reactionary plan that damages the image of Estonia,” Rõivas said in a press release.
Electronic voting had proven to be safe and convenient for 12 years, Rõivas added, and brought Estonia recognition all over the world. “The share of e-voters has grown constantly. Shortening the e-voting period reduces the possibility for voters to take part in the democratic decision-making process,” he added.
Editor: Dario Cavegn