Voting in foreign states

At the Riigikogu and the European Parliament elections as well as at referendums, voting in foreign states is organised by foreign missions of Estonia.

In foreign countries, it is possible to vote by post, at foreign missions on specified days and electronically. Both the Estonian citizens permanently residing in the foreign state and the citizens temporarily staying there have the opportunity to vote.

The elections information notice is sent to voters living in foreign states only electronically. The electronic elections information notice is sent to all voters who have redirected their official e-mail in “eesti.ee” environment. 

At the Riigikogu elections, a voter permanently residing abroad must determine their electoral district on the basis of their former place of residence in Estonia or their parents’ or ancestors’ place of residence.

 

Voting by post

A voter who wishes to vote by post has to submit a written application to the Estonian foreign mission. A copy of an identity document must be appended to the application. The application must have been received the foreign mission not later than thirty days before the election day.

On the basis of the application, the voter is sent a ballot paper, two envelopes and a consolidated list of candidates.

After completing the ballot paper, the voter places it in the internal (smaller) envelope sent to them, and then places the envelope in the outer (larger) envelope. The voter writes their name and personal identification code, and at the Riigikogu elections, also the number of their electoral district on the outer envelope. The ballot paper enclosed in the envelope has to be sent to the foreign mission. Ballot papers sent by post must have been received by the foreign mission on the day determined by the foreign mission, because the ballot paper must reach Estonia by the election day. The expenses of sending the ballot paper to the foreign mission are borne by the voter.

 

Voting by post for the voter temporarily staying in foreign state

The voters whose permanent residence is still in Estonia but who are temporarily staying abroad can vote according to the same procedure.

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

Completing the 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 according to the population register as of 30 days before the election day. These ballot papers in envelopes are also sent to Estonia.

 

Voting at foreign mission

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

A foreign mission has to allow voting at the mission on at least two days in the period between fifteen days and ten days before the election day. The times of voting at foreign missions are published on the web site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the elections web site, and also in the elections information notice.

In order to receive a ballot paper, the voter must present a valid identity document to the person organising the voting. The voter’s right to vote is ascertained by their personal identification code. If an Estonian citizen permanently residing in a foreign state has not been entered in the list of voters, they must present documents certifying their right to vote along with their identity document.

At the foreign mission, the voter is issued a ballot paper, two envelopes and the list of candidates. The voter signs the list of voters against receipt of the ballot paper, and a notification on their voting is made in the electronic list of voters.

After completing the ballot paper, the voter places it in the internal (smaller) envelope received from a member of the voting district committee, and then places the envelope in the outer (larger) envelope. The voter residing permanently abroad writes their name and personal identification code, and at the Riigikogu elections, also the number of their electoral district on the outer envelope. A person organising the voting may help fill in the envelope.

If the voter is staying abroad temporarily, the voter’s name, personal identification code and address according to the population register as of 30 days before the election day are written on the envelope. These ballot papers are also sent to Estonia, where they are taken into account upon ascertaining of voting results.