Online voting clicks in Estonia

About 30,000 voters cast ballots in the world's first online parliamentry election.

    Andrus Ansip, Estonian prime minister,  puts a card to validate his electronic ballot [AFP]

    "E-voters had the right to re-vote with a paper ballot during the  advance voting period," Maaten said.


    "This is meant to soothe fears that someone may feel pressured by colleagues or family to vote against their free will in online voting," she said.


    "The traditional paper ballot overrides the e-vote."


    In local elections held in 2005, when online voting was first used, 30 people overrode their electronic vote with the paper  ballot.


    "We will know how many electronic voters have changed their vote this time when we count all the ballots Sunday night, after the polls close on election day," Maaten said.


    Advance voting


    A total of over 170,000 voters, or 19 per cent of eligible voters, cast ballots in the advance polls, which were also held in traditional polling stations.


    "The option of advance voting is given to make it as easy as possible for people to take part in elections," Maaten said.


    "In this way, we hope to boost turnout."


    In the last legislative elections held here in March 2003,  turnout was 58 per cent.


    Opinion polls ahead of the March 4 vote predict that the broadly left-leaning Centre Party and the right-of-centre Reform Party, the core of the current coalition, will form a new government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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