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Helme calls for way to check e-vote, calling Tallinn result ‘not credible’

Chairman of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme.
Chairman of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme. Source: (ERR)

EKRE chairman Mart Helme thinks that there are discrepancies in the results that make a way to trace the e-vote necessary. It couldn’t be that Reform got 38 percent of Tallinn’s e-vote, and the Center Party just a few percent.

According to the National Electoral Committee, this year’s e-vote at a record 185,871 valid votes was led by the Reform Party with 29.7 percent, followed by independent candidates and election coalitions with 28.5 percent.

The Social Democrats got 13.6 percent of the e-vote, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) 10.1 percent, the Center Party also 10.1 percent, and the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) 6 percent.

EKRE chairman Mart Helme said on Sunday evening that he didn’t trust the outcome of the e-vote. “I can’t take it seriously if one party wins almost half of the electronic vote. Something definitely smells fishy here,” Helme told ETV.

According to the EKRE chairman, the principal problem of the electronic vote is that there is no way to check the results. “Right now we have to trust them blindly,” Helme said, adding that it couldn’t be that the Reform Party scored more than 38 percent while the Center Party’s voters supposedly amounted to just a few percent.

The claim that the Center Party’s Russian-speaking voters didn’t use computers as actively as its Estonian base was absurd, Helme said. “Of course they use them. They use computers exactly the same way as the Estonians do it, they pay off their bank loans and their bills. These aren’t stone-age people, they’re people of the digital age, but for some reason they’re not voting electronically. There’s something here that’s making me doubt this very much,” Helme said.

In Helme’s opinion some sort of control is necessary, a way to check the number of electronic votes in the aftermath of the elections. The votes needed to be traceable. “I’m not a specialist, but there should need to be a way,” Helme insisted.

“In America they say that fixing election results needs to be done within credible limits. There’s nothing credible here,” Helme said.

Helme also said that he was very happy about his party’s results. EKRE went from 1.3 percent of the overall vote across the country in 2013 to 6.7 percent this year, with the party’s leading candidate in Tartu, Indrek Särg, getting the third-best personal result.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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