Record number of EU citizens eligible to vote in local elections this fall ({{commentsTotal}})

An elderly woman placing her paper ballot into a secure ballot box.
An elderly woman placing her paper ballot into a secure ballot box. Source: (Urmas Luik/Pärnu Postimees)

A record-breaking total of 27,855 citizens of other EU member states will be eligible to vote in Estonia's local elections this fall, up from 17,675 in 2013.

The increase in number is partially attributable to the fact that, under new laws, 16- and 17-year-olds will also be eligible to vote.

Last week, the Ministry of the Interior sent notices to EU citizens residing in Estonia who are eligible to vote in the October elections.

The notices informed their recipients of the upcoming elections as well as their right to vote and run in the elections, the last of which applies to anyone who is at least 18 years of age by the deadline for candidate registration, a ministry spokesperson told ERR.

According to official records, the largest numbers of citizens of EU member states reside in Tallinn (15,665) and all of Harju County (17,411). Another 4,427 such individuals live in Tartu County, 1,405 in Ida-Viru County, 1,147 in Valga County, 1,118 in Pärnu County, 443 in Saare County, 348 in Lääne-Viru County, 338 in Lääne County, 315 in Viljandi County, 281 in Rapla County, 168 in Järva County, 141 in Võru County, 122 in Jõgeva County, 109 in Põlva County and 82 in Hiiu County.

According to the Municipal Council Election Act, Estonian and EU citizens aged 16 or older by election day and whose address of permanent residence is reflected in Estonia's central population register are eligible to vote in local elections.

According to initial data, there will be 560 polling divisions across Estonia, down from 582 in 2013.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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