Vote miscount in Narva may cost EKRE mandate

The fate of one mandate is currently up in the air.
The fate of one mandate is currently up in the air. Source: Hanna Samoson/ERR

A mistake some 1,500 votes in size was made in the counting of votes in a polling division in the city of Narva, which may lead to the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) losing one mandate and the Centre Party or the Social Democratic Party (SDE) gaining an extra mandate.

As votes were being counted in one polling division, candidate numbers, not vote numbers, were recorded in the voting record. This means that the size of the simple quota in Ida-Viru County will change, which could lead to EKRE losing one mandate to either the Centre Party or the SDE, ERR's Russian-language online news portal reported.

Narva City Secretary Ants Liimets, who is responsible for the conducting of the elections, told ERR about the mistake on Monday. According to him, votes are currently being recounted, and the mistake affected some 1,500 votes. This means that Estonia 200 and EKRE are set to lose votes, and such a mistake will increase the size of Ida-Viru County's quota.

Electoral Office director: This is what recounts are for

The recount that follows the Riigikogu elections is meant precisely to catch mistakes, explained Priit Vinkel, director of the State Electoral Office. This is being done calmly, and it is not yet known how long it will take.

Mr Vinkel told ERR that he was unsure what caused the mistake.

"I can't say more exactly at the moment," he said. "An investigation is underway regarding Narva — that's what the recount is for. The precise circumstances will be reviewed. It was likely human error that came up as votes were being recorded. But I'll repeat — the recount is to catch any mistakes made at night, and fix everything up."

How long the recount could take will depend on how many votes have to be recounted.

"It began at 10:00 EET throughout Estonia," Mr Vinkel said. "It will take longer in bigger places, and less time in smaller ones. It will likely be completed by evening. But this is once again something that we won't rush. It's an exact science, and if we need to continue tomorrow, then we will continue tomorrow."

According to current information, the State Electoral Office is unaware of further mistakes in other polling divisions.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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