Over 1,600 EU citizens resident in Estonia vote in elections

A polling station in Estonia on elections day.
A polling station in Estonia on elections day. Source: ERR

European Union citizens resident in Estonia had the option to vote in the European Elections here, rather than their home countries. Over 1,600 did just that, according to a report on ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera."

To exercise this right, E.U. citizens resident here needed to be registered with the Electoral Commission. However, many found on the day that they were unable to vote.

"The polling station informed me that I could only vote in Spain," said one Spanish national.

"I think I should have voted a few days ago at the [Spanish] embassy, but I didn't have enough information on that," he continued.

"There was some confusion at the polling station that I could only speak English. We live in the E.U., not in Russia, but in the event almost noone spoke English, though they were able to provide information in Russian," he continued.

"There have been a few cases like this. I would like to note that people should think a little bit earlier about this, because they have now lost their vote," said Elena Veršinina, Chairman of the 2nd polling station in Kohtla-Järve, Ida Viru County.

The editor's experience at polling station 84, on Tehnika Street in Tallinn, was that officials switched into English unprompted, when hearing his level of Estonian. Russian-language help would be provided for the large number of Estonian citizens whose first language is Russian.

Reports in the media state that the same problem befell some E.U. citizens resident in the U.K., complicated by administrative delays during the lack of certainty on whether that country was even going to participate in the elections.

Numbers of E.U. citizens resident in Estonia stretches to the tens of thousands, though many will have opted to vote in their home country.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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