The Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt replied to the interpellation concerning the number of people with the right to vote in the electoral districts of Riigikogu elections, and the work of Estonian state authorities with persons with the right to vote who are residing abroad (No. 438), submitted by members of the Riigikogu Jüri Adams, Andres Herkel, Monika Haukanõmm, Krista Aru, Külliki Kübarsepp and Meri on 14 June
The interpellators wished to know what had been done or was planned to be done so that Estonian citizens residing abroad could choose electoral districts suitable for them, and what programmes had been launched.
Anvelt explained that, as a result of the administrative reform, the boundaries of counties had changed in several places all over Estonia. That had also brought about changes to the boundaries of districts. These changes can be automatically taken into account on the basis of the data of the population register when designating districts for voters residing abroad.
“The electoral district for voters permanently residing in a foreign state has been entered into the population register according to their last address in Estonia, and in the absence of relevant data, according to the last Estonian address of their parents or grandparents. On the basis of the codes of the Classification of Administrative and Settlement Units of Estonia, the last address in Estonia and new county boundaries are matched automatically in the register,” Anvelt said. He added that a person who found that the data concerning his or her district were wrong and wished to change them had the possibility to submit his or her last Estonian address again to be entered into the population register, whether directly to the authorised processor of the population register or through a foreign mission, from which he or she could obtain data on his or her district.
Anvelt said that there were about 15,000 voters residing abroad in the case of whom there was no data on their own residence, or the residence of their parents or grandparents in Estonia, and for whom it was therefore impossible to determine a district. They are mostly descendants of Estonians whose ancestors have lived abroad for several generations. “In earlier elections, when we sent a polling card to these people, we also informed them about the absence of district data together with a request to submit them. Unfortunately, information on deaths of people residing abroad is incomplete in Estonia, and therefore people who are actually dead have also been entered in the lists of voters,” Anvelt noted.
The minister said that already in October they would notify about 7000 voters via their e-mail addresses that it was impossible to designate an electoral district to them at present. In order to be able to vote, they should submit the data necessary to designate a district to the authorised processor of the population register. Another important source for spreading this information is notification through foreign missions.
Anvelt explained in light of the upcoming elections that data serving as the basis for calculating the mandates would be taken from the population register as of the moment prescribed by law, and the calculation would be based on the data of the population register at that time.
“At the moment the information technology authority of the Ministry of the Interior is making preparations in order that the lists of voters would be correctly prepared for the next elections and that voters could receive the information necessary for voting with their voter’s card. We will do everything in our power so that the obligations imposed by law would be fulfilled and the elections would be carried out as is fit and proper,” Anvelt said.
The Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva replied to the interpellation concerning the availability of the technical aids necessary for disabled children for life and development (No. 436).
During the open microphone, Märt Sults took the floor.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
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