Print

Voting abroad

At the Riigikogu and the European parliament elections as well as at referendums, voting is organised in foreign countries through foreign missions.

You can vote abroad by post or at the foreign mission on certain dates.

Estonian citizens permanently residing or temporarily staying abroad have the right to vote abroad.

The citizen permanently residing or temporarily staying abroad will get an electronic voter card describing the voting possibilities well in advance of the election day.

At the Riigikogu elections, a voter permanently residing abroad must determine their electoral district for the election of the Riigikogu on the basis of their former place of residence in Estonia or their parents’ or ancestors’ place of residence. Once the district is determined, it can be changed only in exceptional cases upon the presentation of relevant documents.

You must decide whether you will vote by post or at a foreign mission. In addition to these possibilities, you can also vote electronically. 

If you vote by post, you must present an application to the foreign mission for voting by post. A copy of an identity document must be attached to the application. The application must have reached the foreign mission thirty days before the election day at the latest.

On the basis of the application you will receive a ballot paper, two envelopes and a consolidated list of candidates.

After the completion of the ballot paper, you must put it in the internal (smaller) envelope, which you must enclose in the outer (bigger) envelope. You must write your name, personal identification code and the number of the Riigikogu electoral district on the outer envelope (without this your vote will not count). The foreign mission may also send you a pre-filled outer envelope. 

The ballot paper enclosed in the envelopes must be sent to the foreign mission and reach the mission on the set date, as it must reach Estonia by the election day.

The expenses of sending the ballot paper to the foreign mission are borne by the voter.

The same procedure applies to voting in a foreign country by voters whose permanent residence is still in Estonia but who are temporarily staying abroad.

Such voters also have the right to present an application to the foreign mission to vote by post and they will be sent a ballot paper, envelopes and a list of candidates. 

Filling in a ballot paper and sending it to the foreign mission follows the same procedure which is provided for voters who live permanently abroad, except that a voter who is staying temporarily abroad must write on the outer envelope their name, identification code and address in Estonia as registered in the population register as of 30 days prior to the election day.

These ballot papers will also be sent to Estonia enclosed in two envelopes and forwarded to the voting district of your residence.

The voters who live permanently or temporarily abroad and did not vote by post can vote at the foreign mission.

A foreign mission must allow voting at the mission on at least two days in the period between fifteen days and ten days before the election day.

You will find more information on the time of the voting on the voter card as well as on the web pages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Electoral Committee.

In order to receive a ballot paper, you must present a valid identity document to the person organising the voting.

If you are an Estonian citizen permanently residing abroad and you have not been entered on the list of voters, you must present documents attesting to your right to vote along with your identity document.

A voter voting at a foreign mission must sign the list of voters voting at the mission against the receipt of a ballot paper.

You will be given a ballot paper, two envelopes and the list of candidates.

You must fill in the ballot paper. After filling in the ballot paper you must enclose it in the inner envelope. Then you must enclose the latter in the outer envelope.

The outer envelope is inscribed with the name and the personal identification code of the voter living permanently abroad, and in case of the Riigikogu elections – the number of the electoral district. A cross is made on the envelope in the box “voting abroad”. The person organising the voting may help fill in the envelope.

If the voter is staying abroad temporarily, the envelope is inscribed with their name, personal identification code and address as registered in the population register as of 30 days before the election day. 

These ballot papers are also sent to Estonia where they will be counted along with other votes.