EU election: POLLS CLOSED, 34 percent voted by 4 p.m.

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Polling station signage.
Polling station signage. Source: Tarmo Maiberg/ERR

Polls at the European Parliamentary elections in Estonia closed at 8 p.m. Sunday. By 4 p.m. Sunday, turnout stood at 34 percent, the Electoral Committee reported. The busiest polling stations so far reported have been in Tallinn, where 38.8 percent of the local electorate had voted at 4 p.m.. Turnout continued to be the lowest in Ida-Viru County, as was the case in the general election in March, at 21.9 percent in the afternoon.

This means that the current election is still slightly busier than the last European one in 2014, when turnout at 4 p.m. was 31.6 percent.

Though overall turnout is however very low compared with the March 3 general election, activity has been slightly greater this year overall. Six days before the election, 14.4 percent of voters had voted already, compared with 9.67 percent five years ago. At the end of early and e-voting four days ago, turnout stood at 25.4 percent, 6.4 points ahead of 2014's 19 percent.

Designated polling stations were open Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and were the only option for voting on the day. Altogether, 444 such polling stations were open all around the country on Sunday.

Contrary to a common myth surrounding Estonia's voting system, a paper vote on election day doesn't override a previous advance or e-vote, which means that all those who have voted already weren't able to do so again at polling stations today. The advance voting period ran from May 16-22.

The three "dark days" which followed the end of advance voting are used in part to collate all the e-votes and advance votes in polling stations - voters could overrule their e-vote in the polling stations during the advance period, as well as changing their votes online, through to the end of the advance period.

According to the Electoral Committee, results won't be published before midnight Sunday.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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