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Referendum Act

Passed 13 March 2002

(RT1 I 2002, 30, 176),

entered into force 6 April 2002,

amended by the following Acts:

21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32;

15.10.2002 entered into force 10.11.2002 - RT I 2002, 90, 517;

12.06.2002 entered into force 18.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 355.

Chapter 1

General Provisions

§ 1. Issues to be submitted to referendum

(1) The Riigikogu2 shall submit any amendment of Chapters 1 and 15 of the Constitution to a referendum. The Riigikogu may submit other draft Acts that amend the Constitution, and other draft Acts or other national issues to a referendum.

(2) Issues regarding the budget, taxation, financial obligations of the state, ratification and denunciation of international agreements, the declaration or termination of a state of emergency, or national defence shall not be submitted to a referendum.

§ 2. Principles of referendum

(1) A referendum is free, general, uniform and direct. Voting is secret. Each voter has one vote. The decision of the people shall be reached by a majority of those who participate in the voting.

(2) An Estonian citizen who has attained eighteen years of age by the date of a referendum may participate in the referendum.

(3) A person shall not participate in the voting if he or she:

1) has been divested of his or her active legal capacity by a court judgment;

2) has been convicted by a court and is serving a sentence in a custodial institution.

§ 3. Time of referendum

(1) A referendum shall be held not earlier than three months after the passage of a resolution to this effect by the Riigikogu.

(2) A date for a referendum shall be specified by the Riigikogu. The referendum shall be held on a Sunday.

(3) A referendum shall not be initiated or held during a state of emergency or a state of war. A referendum shall not held at a time when less than ninety days remain until elections to the Riigikogu. A referendum on a draft Act to amend the Constitution or on another national issue may be scheduled for a time after the next elections to the Riigikogu. A referendum on another draft Act shall not be scheduled for a time after the next elections to the Riigikogu. A referendum may be scheduled for the same day as Riigikogu elections or local government council elections.

(15.10.2002 entered into force 10.11.2002 - RT I 2002, 90, 517)

(4) Referendums shall not be held on the same day on issues which are mutually exclusive or for the passage of Acts which are in conflict with each other.

§ 4. Obligation to comply with decision of referendum

The decision of a referendum shall be binding for all state authorities.

Chapter 2

Initiation of Referendum

§ 5. Initiation of referendum

The right to initiate a referendum is provided by the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Act (RT I 1994, 90, 1517; 2001, 1, 1; 94, 581; 2002, 30, 176; 64, 393).

§ 6. Resolution to hold referendum

(1) The Riigikogu shall decide on the holding a referendum pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Act.

(2) The Riigikogu shall not amend or repeal a resolution to hold a referendum.

§ 7. Postponement of referendum

(1) A referendum shall be postponed if a state of emergency or a state of war is declared.

(2) If the Government of the Republic declares an emergency situation due to a natural disaster, catastrophe or infectious disease after a resolution to hold a referendum has been passed, the Riigikogu may postpone the referendum by a resolution.

(3) The Riigikogu shall determine a new date for the referendum within two weeks after the reasons provided for in subsections (1) and (2) of this Act cease to exist, observing the term prescribed in subsection 3 (1) of this Act which shall be calculated from the date on which the resolution of the Riigikogu determining the new referendum date is passed.

(4) In the case prescribed in subsection (1), the National Electoral Committee shall publish a notice within seven working days as of the entry into force of the resolution to this effect.

§ 8. Cancellation of referendum

(1) A referendum shall not be held if:

1) the Supreme Court repeals the resolution of the Riigikogu concerning submission of a draft Act or other national issue to a referendum;

2) the Riigikogu has not passed a resolution determining a new date for the referendum within the term prescribed in subsection 7 (3);

3) the time of the referendum is not in accordance with subsection 3 (3) due to extraordinary Riigikogu elections being called.

(2) In the case prescribed in clause (1) 1), the National Electoral Committee shall publish a notice concerning cancellation of a referendum within seven working days as of the entry into force of the judgment of the Supreme Court.

(3) In the case prescribed in clause (1) 2), the National Electoral Committee shall publish a notice within seven working days as of the expiry of the term prescribed in subsection 7 (3).

(4) In the case prescribed in clause (1) 3), the National Electoral Committee shall publish a notice within seven working days as of extraordinary Riigikogu elections being called.

§ 9. Publication of resolutions and notices concerning referendum

(1) Resolutions to hold a referendum, draft Acts to be submitted to a referendum, resolutions to postpone a referendum, resolutions which determine a new date for a referendum and notices issued by the National Electoral Committee concerning the postponement or cancellation of a referendum shall be published in the Riigi Teataja.

(2) Resolutions to hold a referendum and draft Acts to be submitted to a referendum shall be published for a second time between seven days and fourteen days before referendum day.

Chapter 3

Campaigning

(12.06.2002 entered into force 18.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

§ 10. Restriction on campaigning

(12.06.2002 entered into force 18.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

(1) On the day of a referendum, active campaigning in favour of or against the issue submitted to a referendum or relating to participation in or refusal to participate in the referendum is prohibited.

(12.06.2002 entered into force 18.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

(2) Campaigning is prohibited in polling places and in premises through which voters enter polling places.

(12.06.2002 entered into force 18.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

Chapter 4

Polling Divisions

§ 11. Formation of polling divisions

(1) In order to hold voting, polling divisions shall be formed within the territory of a local government.

(2) Polling divisions shall be formed by a regulation of the rural municipality or city government which prescribes:

1) the numeration of the polling divisions;

2) the boundaries of the polling divisions;

3) the location of the polling places;

4) at least one polling division where voters can vote outside the polling division of their residence according to subsection 34 (2);

5) a polling division where voters can vote if the information on their residence in the rural municipality or city is entered in the Estonian population register (hereinafter population register) to the accuracy of the rural municipality or city, or in Tallinn to the accuracy of the city district.

(3) Polling divisions are permanent. In a referendum, voting shall be held in the same polling divisions as Riigikogu and local government council elections, unless the rural municipality or city government amends the regulation specified in subsection (2) and decides otherwise.

(4) A rural municipality or city government may amend a regulation specified in subsection (2) not later than on the fiftieth day before the day of the referendum or in extraordinary cases later. The rural municipality or city government shall promptly notify the National Electoral Committee and the chief processor of the population register of any such amendments.

(5) A rural municipality or city government shall make the information specified in subsection (2) public before the referendum.

(6) A county electoral committee shall make the information specified in subsection (2) public during the week before the start of advance polls.

Chapter 5

Electoral Committees

§ 12. Types of electoral committees

(1) Referendums are organised by the following electoral committees:

1) the National Electoral Committee;

2) county electoral committees;

3) division committees.

(2) In Tallinn and Tartu, the city electoral committee shall perform the functions of a county electoral committee.

§ 13. Term of authority of electoral committee

(1) The term of authority and the procedure for formation of the National Electoral Committee, county electoral committees and the electoral committees of the cities of Tallinn and Tartu is prescribed in the Riigikogu Election Act.

(2) The authority of a division committee shall continue until declaration of the results of the referendum or publication of a notice provided for in § 8 concerning cancellation of the referendum. If the Riigikogu passes a resolution concerning the holding of another referendum before the authority of the division committee terminates, the authority of the committee shall be extended as appropriate.

§ 14. Member of electoral committee

(1) A person who has the right to vote according to § 2 may be a member of a division committee.

(2) The Riigikogu Election Act applies to members of division committees.

(3) Members of electoral committees shall not campaign in favour of or against the issue submitted to a referendum or relating to participation in or refusal to participate in the referendum.

(12.06.2002 entered into force 18.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

§ 15. Working procedures of electoral committees

The working procedures of electoral committees shall comply with the Riigikogu Election Act.

§ 16. Assistance to electoral committee

Assistance shall be provided to electoral committees in compliance with the Riigikogu Election Act.

§ 17. Competence of National Electoral Committee

(1) The function of the National Electoral Committee is to verify voting results across the whole country, ensure the uniformity of the conduct of a referendum, instruct other electoral committees, exercise supervision over their activities and perform other functions arising from law.

(2) The National Electoral Committee has the right to:

1) issue precepts for the elimination of deficiencies of an act of a county electoral committee or division committee or a resolution of a county electoral committee;

2) suspend an act of a county electoral committee or division committee or the validity of a resolution of a county electoral committee;

3) declare a resolution of a county electoral committee invalid and, if necessary, issue a precept for a new resolution to be made.

(3) The National Electoral Committee shall issue regulations in the cases prescribed in subsection (4). Regulations of the National Electoral Committee shall be signed by the Chairman. Regulations enter into force on the third day after publication in the Riigi Teataja.

(4) The National Electoral Committee shall establish the following by a regulation:

1) the standard format of polling lists;

2) the procedure for voting in foreign states;

3) the procedure for the holding of voting and verification of voting results;

4) the standard format of ballot papers;

5) the standard format of the records of voting results;

6) the status of observer;

7) the procedure for the use of money allocated for the organisation of a referendum.

(5) The National Electoral Committee shall adopt a resolution in order to resolve an individual matter within the competence of the National Electoral Committee. The resolution shall be signed by the Chairman of the Committee. The resolution shall enter into force upon signature thereof.

(6) Regulations, resolutions and instructions of the National Electoral Committee shall be binding on county electoral committees and division committees.

§ 18. Competence of county electoral committee

(1) The function of a county electoral committee is to verify voting results in the county, instruct division committees, exercise supervision over their activities and perform other functions arising from this Act.

(2) A county electoral committee has the right to:

1) issue precepts for the elimination of deficiencies of an act of a division committee;

2) suspend an act of a division committee.

(3) A county electoral committee shall adopt a resolution in order to resolve an individual matter within the competence of the county electoral committee. The resolution shall be signed by the chairman of the committee. The resolution shall enter into force upon signature thereof.

(4) Resolutions and instructions of county electoral committees shall be binding on division committees.

§ 19. Formation of division committee

(1) A local government council (hereinafter council) shall appoint the chairman and up to eight members of the division committee by a resolution not later than on the twentieth day before the day of the referendum.

(2) The council shall appoint half of the members of a division committee on the proposal of the rural municipality or city secretary and the rest of the members from among the persons put forward by political parties entered in the non-profit associations and foundations register. Political parties shall put forward one member candidate for a division committee to the rural municipality or city secretary not later than on the forty-fifth day before the day of the referendum. The candidate must consent to being put forward. If political parties do not put forward candidates or if the number of candidates put forward is lower than the number of members of the division committee appointed from among the candidates of political parties, the council shall appoint the rest of the members on the proposal of the rural municipality or city secretary.

(3) On the proposal of the rural municipality or city secretary, the council shall also appoint at least two alternate members who, during the term of authority of the committee and in the order specified by the council, shall replace the members of the committee whose authority terminates or is suspended.

(4) A division committee shall elect a deputy chairman of the committee from among its members.

(5) Operational and clerical support shall be provided to a division committee by the rural municipality government or city government.

§ 20. Competence of division committee

The function of a division committee is to conduct voting, verify voting results in the polling division and perform other functions arising from this Act.

Chapter 6

Registration of Voters

§ 21. Maintaining of records on voters

(1) Voters shall be registered in the population register.

(2) The procedure for the maintenance of the population register shall be prescribed by law.

(3) Voters shall be registered on the basis of the following information entered in the population register:

1) given name and surname;

2) date of birth;

3) personal identification code;

4) information on citizenship;

5) information on divestment of active legal capacity;

6) information on place of residence.

§ 22. Polling card

(1) The chief processor of the population register shall organise the preparation of polling cards and their sending to voters not later than on the twentieth day before the day of the referendum. A polling card shall not be sent to a voter if the information on his or her residence is entered in the population register on the initiative of a local government to the accuracy of the rural municipality or city, or in Tallinn to the accuracy of the city district. If several referendums are held on the same day, only one polling card shall be sent to each voter.

(2) The following shall be entered on a polling card:

1) the given name and surname of the voter;

2) the year of birth of the voter;

3) the residential address of the voter;

4) the name of the rural municipality or city and the number of the polling division where the voter is entered in the polling list;

5) the time and place of voting on advance polling days and the day of the referendum;

6) the referendum issue or the title of the draft Act and a notation concerning publication of the draft Act in the Riigi Teataja.

(3) A voter who has not received a polling card by fifteen days before the day of the referendum or whose polling card contains incorrect information may file an application with a rural municipality or city secretary for clarification to be given or errors to be corrected. The rural municipality or city secretary shall promptly review the application together with the person who prepared the polling card and shall respond to the application in writing within three working days as of receiving the application.

§ 23. Polling list

(1) The chief processor of the population register shall organise the preparation and printing of the polling lists for each polling division on the basis of the information held in the population register and shall organise the delivery of polling lists to the division committees by the day before referendum day.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(2) The basis for the preparation of polling lists shall be the information prescribed in subsection 21 (3), as at thirty days before the day of the referendum. Upon preparation of a polling list, any changes made to the information specified in clauses 21 (3) 1)-5) later than thirty days before the day of the referendum shall also be taken into account. Any changes made to the residential address less than thirty days before the day of the referendum shall not be taken into account.

(3) A person shall not be entered in a polling list if he or she has been convicted of a criminal offence by a court pursuant to information held in the punishment register and if, as of thirty days before the day of the referendum, he or she is to be imprisoned until the day of the referendum.

(4) A voter shall be entered in the polling list of the polling division in the territory of which his or her residence, as entered in the population register, is located on the thirtieth day before the day of the referendum. If the information on the residence of a voter is entered in the population register to the accuracy of the rural municipality or city, or in Tallinn to the accuracy of the city district, the voter shall be entered in the polling list of a polling division determined pursuant to clause 11 (2) 5).

(5) The following information on each voter shall be entered in the polling list:

1) given name and surname;

2) personal identification code;

3) residential address.

(6) Voters shall be entered in a polling list in alphabetical order according to their surname.

(7) The person who prepares a polling list shall sign the polling list not later than on the seventh day before referendum day and the chairman of the division committee shall sign the polling list on referendum day after the close of voting.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(8) Polling lists shall be preserved permanently in the archives.

§ 24. Accessibility of polling lists

(1) A voter may check the correctness of information entered in the polling list concerning himself or herself.

(2) After the day of the referendum, a voter may, in the event of justified interest, examine the polling list to the extent necessary and the list may be used for scientific purposes.

§ 25. Checking correctness of information entered in polling list and correction of information

(1) If a voter finds that information entered in the polling list concerning himself or herself contains errors, he or she shall submit an application for correction of the errors to the division committee which shall promptly forward it to the rural municipality or city secretary.

(2) The rural municipality or city secretary shall promptly review the application together with the person who prepared the polling list and shall respond to the applicant and inform the division committee of the results of the review.

(3) The division committee shall correct the error in the polling list on the basis of a notice issued by the rural municipality or city secretary.

(4) If it is clear from the documents submitted to a division committee that the information entered in the polling list contains errors, the division committee may correct the errors. The rural municipality or city secretary shall be promptly informed of correction of the errors.

§ 26. Making amendments to polling list

(1) A polling list shall be amended only if:

1) a person who has not been entered in any polling list but who has the right to participate in voting pursuant to this Act is to be entered in the list;

2) a person who does not have the right to participate in voting is to be deleted from the list.

(2) In order to amend a polling list, a person shall submit an application to be entered in the population register or an application for the amendment of register information which is the basis for the registration of voters to a rural municipality or city secretary. The rural municipality or city secretary shall review the application together with the person who prepared the polling list and shall promptly respond to the person.

(3) If a person is entered in the population register or if register information which is the basis for the registration of voters is amended such that this brings about the entry of the person in a polling list, the rural municipality or city secretary shall promptly notify the division committee thereof.

(4) A division committee shall make an amendment in a polling list on the basis of a notice issued by the rural municipality or city secretary.

(5) If a rural municipality or city secretary denies an application specified in subsection (2), the applicant may file an action with an administrative court of his or her residence against the act of the rural municipality or city secretary. The action shall be filed with the rural municipality or city secretary who shall forward the action and his or her written explanation to the administrative court of his or her location within twenty-four hours as of the receipt of the action.

(6) The administrative court shall review the action and make a judgment within three working days after receipt of the action.

(7) The administrative court shall make one of the following judgments:

1) to deny the action;

2) to satisfy the action and issue a precept to the rural municipality or city secretary to arrange that the person be entered in the population register or to amend the register information which is the basis for the registration of voters.

(8) If the administrative court satisfies the action, the person shall be promptly entered in the population register or the information pertaining to him or her shall be amended and the division committee shall be promptly notified thereof.

Chapter 7

Voting Procedure

§ 27. Polling place

(1) Voting in a polling division shall be held at a polling place designated by the rural municipality government or city government. Different polling places may be designated for voting on the day of the referendum and on advance polling days.

(2) A polling place shall have places for the distribution of ballot papers, voting booths and a ballot box. In a polling division where voters can vote outside the polling division of their residence, the polling place shall have a separate voting booth and a separate ballot box for voters voting outside the polling division of their residence during advance polls.

(3) If a draft Act is submitted to a referendum, voters may examine the draft act in the polling places.

(4) Order in a polling place shall be maintained by the division committee. Lawful oral orders given by members of the division committee are mandatory for all persons in the polling place.

§ 28. Voting booth

(1) A voting booth shall be positioned in a manner which enables voting to be secret.

(2) There shall be a table and a writing instrument in a voting booth.

§ 29. Ballot box

(1) Before voting opens, the division committee shall inspect and seal the ballot box. Ballot boxes sealed before the start of advance polls shall be used for advance polls only.

(2) The opening of a ballot box shall be covered. It shall be opened only to deposit a ballot paper in the box.

(3) After the close of voting on advance polling days, the division committee shall seal the opening of the ballot box used for advance polls.

§ 30. Ballot paper

(1) If a draft Act is submitted to a referendum, the title of the draft Act or, pursuant to a resolution of the Riigikogu, the text of the draft Act, the question “Kas Teie olete seaduseelnõu seadusena vastuvõtmise poolt?” [Are you in favour of passage of the draft Act?] and spaces marked with the possible answers “jah” [yes] and “ei” [no] shall be entered on the ballot paper. If another national issue is submitted to a referendum, the wording of the issue and spaces marked with the possible answers "jah" [yes] and "ei" [no] shall be entered on the ballot paper.

(15.10.2002 entered into force 10.11.2002 - RT I 2002, 90, 517)

(2) The format of the ballot paper shall be established by the National Electoral Committee.

(3) The National Electoral Committee shall organise the preparation of ballot papers and their delivery to the division committees.

(4) After receiving the ballot papers, the division committee shall affix the seal of the division committee to the ballot papers. The National Electoral Committee shall affix its seal to ballot papers used in foreign states and on board ships.

§ 31. Time of voting

(1) Voting on the day of the referendum shall open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

(2) Advance polls shall be held:

1) from the thirteenth day to the ninth day before referendum day in a polling division designated by the county electoral committee. Voting shall open at 12.00 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.;

2) from the sixth day to the fourth day before election day, in all polling division and by electronic means. Voting shall open at 12.00 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.; Votes can be submitted using electronic means on a twenty-four hour basis.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(3) Home voting shall be held on the day of the referendum in the cases prescribed in this Act.

(4) Voting in custodial institutions shall be held in on the days prescribed in clause (2) 2) of this section in the cases prescribed in this Act.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

§ 32. Voting

(1) A voter shall vote in the polling division where he or she is entered in the polling list, except in the cases prescribed in §§ 34–38 and 40 and in Chapter 8.

(2) In order to obtain a ballot paper, a voter shall present an identity document to the division committee. The voter shall sign the polling list against receipt of the ballot paper.

(3) The voter shall complete the ballot paper in a voting booth.

(4) The voter shall indicate his or her answer on the ballot paper in the space marked “jah” [yes] or “ei” [no].

(5) The voter shall complete the ballot paper himself or herself. If he or she is unable to complete the ballot paper himself or herself due to a physical disability, another person may do so at his or her request and in his or her presence.

(6) If the voter spoils the ballot paper, he or she shall be given a new ballot paper. The voter shall return the spoiled ballot paper to the division committee.

(7) After completing the ballot paper, the voter shall fold the ballot paper and hand it to a member of the division committee who shall affix the seal of the division committee to the outside of the folded ballot paper.

(8) The voter shall deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box himself or herself. If he or she is unable to deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box himself or herself due to a physical disability, another person may do so at his or her request and in his or her presence.

§ 33. Advance polls

(1) Advance polls shall be held pursuant to the procedure prescribed in § 32.

(2) A voter entered in the polling list who has attained 18 years of age by the day of the advance polls has the right to vote at the advance polls.

(3) Advance polls shall be organised by at least three members of the division committee.

(4) A member of the division committee shall mark the date of voting in the polling list concerning each person who has voted.

(5) The division committee shall keep the ballot box and voting documents on advance polling days and the following days such that only members of the division committee have access to them.

§ 34. Specifications for advance polls held outside polling division of residence

(1) On advance polling days (subsection 31 (2)), voters may vote outside the polling division of their residence in a polling division designated by the county electoral committee, the rural municipality or city government or electronically on the webpage of the National Electoral Committee.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(2) A division committee designated by the rural municipality or city government shall organise voting outside the polling division of residence. The rural municipality or city government may designate a division committee which, in addition to advance polls, organises voting only at the location of a voter (§ 36) or only in custodial institutions (§ 38).

(3) A county electoral committee, except the Harjumaa County Electoral Committee and the Tartumaa County Electoral Committee shall designate, not later than on the forty-fifth day before referendum day, at least one polling division located in a county town, where voters may vote outside the polling division of their residence on the days prescribed in clause 31 (2) 1) of this Act. In the city of Tallinn or Tartu, such polling division shall be designated by the city electoral committee. A county electoral committee shall publish its decision during the week before the start of advance polls.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

§ 35. Advance polls held in polling places outside polling division of residence

(1) A voter who wishes to vote in a polling place outside the polling division of his or her residence shall present an identity document to a member of the division committee and the voter shall be entered in the list of voters voting outside the polling division of their residence.

(2) The member of the division committee shall issue a ballot paper and two envelopes to the voter. The voter shall sign the list of voters voting outside the polling division of their residence against the receipt of a ballot paper.

(3) The voter shall complete the ballot paper pursuant to the provisions of subsections 32 (3)-(6).

(4) The voter shall place the ballot paper in one of the envelopes given by the member of the division committee. The voter shall place the envelope with the ballot paper in the other envelope given by the member of the division committee. The voter or the member of the division committee shall write the name, personal identification code and residential address of the voter on the outer envelope. The voter shall deposit the envelope in the ballot box prescribed for the ballot papers of voters voting outside the polling division of their residence.

§ 36. Advance polls held outside polling division of residence at location of voter

(1) If a voter who wishes to vote outside the polling division of his or her residence is unable to vote at a polling place located in a polling division due to his or her state of health or for another good reason, he or she may submit a written application to vote at his or her location to the rural municipality or city government of his or her location or to a division committee designated pursuant to the procedure prescribed in subsection 34 (2). The division committee shall register the application. The rural municipality or city government shall register the application and forward it to the appropriate division committee.

(2) Voting shall be organised by at least two members of the division committee pursuant to the provisions of subsections 27 (3), 32 (4)-(6) and 35 (1), (2) and (4).

§ 37. Electronic voting

(1) On days prescribed in clause 31 (2) 2) of this Act, voters holding a certificate for giving a digital signature may vote electronically on the webpage of the National Electoral Committee. A voter shall vote himself or herself.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(2) A voter shall identify himself or herself by a digital signature.

(3) After identification of the voter, the text on the ballot paper shall be displayed to the voter on the webpage. If a draft Act is submitted to a referendum, the voter may examine the draft Act.

(4) The voter shall indicate his or her answer in the space marked “jah” [yes] or “ei” [no] and shall confirm the vote.

(5) The voter shall be informed on the webpage that the vote has been taken into account.

§ 38. Voting in custodial institutions

(1) Voting in custodial institutions shall be held on the days prescribed in clause 31 (2) 2) of this Act.

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(2) The administration of a custodial institution shall submit an application for voting to be held to the division committee designated pursuant to the procedure prescribed in subsection 34 (2).

(3) Voting shall be organised by at least two members of the division committee pursuant to the provisions of subsections 27 (3), 32 (4)-(6) and 35 (1), (2) and (4).

(4) Upon verification of the voting results, the votes of voters who voted at advance polls in a custodial institution shall be taken into account pursuant to the provisions of § 41.

§ 39. Home voting

(1) If a voter is unable to vote at a polling place due to his or her state of health or for another good reason, he or she may apply to vote at home.

(2) In order to vote at home, a voter shall submit a written application to the rural municipality or city government or to the division committee of his or her residence by 4 p.m. on the day of the referendum and the division committee shall register the application. If the application is submitted to the rural municipality or city government, the rural municipality or city government shall register the application and forward it to the appropriate division committee.

(3) Home voting shall be organised by at least two members of the division committee pursuant to the provisions of subsections 27 (3) and 32 (1), (2), (4), (5), (6) and (8).

(4) A home voter shall sign the list of home voters against the receipt of a ballot paper.

§ 40. Voting in Estonia by voters residing in foreign states

(1) A voter residing in a foreign state who has been entered in the list of voters permanently residing in a foreign state and who has not voted pursuant to the procedure provided for in Chapter 8 may vote during advance polls in any polling division designated pursuant to the procedure provided for in the first sentence of subsection 34 (2), or in subsection 34 (3).

(21.01.2004 entered into force 14.02.2004 - RT I 2004, 6, 32)

(2) In order to obtain a ballot paper, a voter shall present an identity document to the division committee and shall be entered in the list of voters voting outside the polling division of their residence.

(3) A member of the division committee shall issue a ballot paper and two envelopes to the voter. The voter shall sign the list of voters voting outside the polling division of their residence against the receipt of a ballot paper.

(4) The voter shall complete the ballot paper pursuant to the provisions of subsections 32 (3)-(6).

(5) The voter shall place the ballot paper in one of the envelopes given by the member of the division committee. The voter shall place the envelope with the ballot paper in the other envelope given by the member of the division committee. The voter or the member of the division committee shall write the name, personal identification code and residential address of the voter on the outer envelope. The voter shall deposit the envelope in the ballot box prescribed for the ballot papers of voters voting outside the polling division of their residence.

(6) Upon the verification of voting results, votes cast pursuant to the procedure prescribed in this section shall be taken into account pursuant to the provisions of subsections 41 (1) and (2) and subsections 48 (2)-(6).

§ 41. Taking votes cast during advance polls outside division of residence and electronically into account

(1) A division committee shall pack the envelopes with the ballot papers of voters who voted outside the polling division of their residence by county and by the cities of Tallinn and Tartu and shall separately pack the envelopes with the ballot papers of voters who permanently reside in a foreign state but voted in Estonia, and shall forward the envelopes to the electoral committee of the county of its location.

(2) The county electoral committee shall forward the envelopes with ballot papers specified in subsection (1) to the electoral committees of the appropriate counties through the National Electoral Committee not later than on the second day before the day of the referendum.

(3) After the close of electronic voting, the National Electoral Committee shall prepare a list of persons who voted electronically by polling division and shall forward the list to the county electoral committees not later than on the second day before the day of the referendum.

(4) A county electoral committee shall forward the envelopes received pursuant to the procedure provided for in subsections (2) and (3) from other county electoral committees and the envelopes with the ballot papers of persons who voted in foreign states and on board ships received from the National Electoral Committee and the lists of persons who voted electronically to the appropriate division committees not later than on the day before the day of the referendum.

(5) If a division committee has received the envelopes with ballot papers and the list of persons who voted electronically pursuant to the procedure prescribed in subsection (4), the committee shall check that each voter is entered in the polling list of the polling division and that he or she has not voted more than once. At least three members of the division committee shall be present during the verification of ballot papers.

(6) If a voter has not been entered in the polling list of a polling division or has voted several times, the division committee shall not take into account any of the ballot papers of the voter received pursuant to the procedure prescribed in subsection (4). If a person has voted several times, including electronically, the division committee shall promptly send a corresponding notice to the National Electoral Committee. On the basis of the notice, the National Electoral Committee shall not take into account any vote cast electronically by the voter. If the voter has not voted in the polling division of his or her residence, a member of the division committee shall make a notation in the polling list concerning voting at the advance polls.

(7) After performing the acts prescribed in subsections (5) and (6), the division committee shall open the outer envelopes, deposit the inner envelopes with ballot papers in the ballot box used at the advance polls and seal the opening of the ballot box again.

Chapter 8

Voting in Foreign State

§ 42. Preparation of voting

(1) Voting in a foreign state for voters permanently residing in the foreign state and voters temporarily staying there shall be organised by representations of Estonia.

(2) An honorary consulate, the honorary consul of which is an Estonian citizen, may be designated to organise voting by an order of the Government of the Republic. In such case, the honorary consulate shall perform the acts prescribed in this Chapter.

(3) Voting shall be organised by the head of a representation or an official designated by him or her. In the case prescribed in subsection (2), voting shall be organised by an honorary consul or a person designated by him or her. The person who organises voting must have the right to vote in accordance with § 2.

(4) The chief processor of the population register shall organise the forwarding of lists of voters permanently residing in foreign states to the representations. The following information shall be entered in the list of voters:

1) given name and surname;

2) personal identification code;

3) residential address, if known.

(5) If the address of a voter permanently residing in a foreign state or a voter temporarily staying there is known, the representation shall send him or her a polling card by post or electronic mail not later than on the fiftieth day before the day of the referendum.

(6) The following shall be entered on a polling card:

1) the given name and surname of the voter;

2) the date of birth of the voter;

3) the residential address of the voter;

4) the address of the representation;

5) the procedure for submitting an application to vote by post, for voting by post and for voting at the representation;

6) the due date for the receipt by the representation of applications to vote by post;

7) the due date for the receipt by the representation of ballot papers sent by post;

8) the time of voting at the representation;

9) the issue submitted to the referendum or the title of the draft Act submitted to the referendum and a notation concerning publication of the draft Act in the Riigi Teataja.

§ 43. Submission of application to vote

(1) If a voter wishes to vote by post, he or she shall send a corresponding application to the Estonian representation in the country of his or her habitual residence. If there is no Estonian representation in the country of habitual residence of the voter, he or she shall send the application to the nearest Estonian representation.

(2) A voter who has been entered in the list of voters permanently residing in a foreign state shall:

1) append a copy of the page of his or her identity document containing personal data to the application;

2) indicate in the application his or her residential address in the foreign state.

(3) A voter who has not been entered in the list of voters permanently residing in a foreign state shall:

1) append a copy of the page of his or her identity and citizenship document containing personal data to the application or submit copies of other documents which certify that he or she has the right to vote in accordance with § 2;

2) indicate his or her residential address in the foreign state;

3) indicate his or her last residence in Estonia (the county, the city district in Tallinn, or the city of Tartu). If a voter permanently residing in a foreign state has not had a residence in Estonia, he or she shall indicate in the application the last residence of his or her parents or grandparents in Estonia.

(4) A voter temporarily staying in a foreign state shall indicate his or her residential address in Estonia in the application in addition to the information prescribed in clauses (2) 1) and 2).

(5) Applications shall reach the representation not later than on the thirtieth day before the day of the referendum.

§ 44. Sending of voting documents to voters

On the thirtieth day before the day of the referendum, a representation shall send the following to voters who sent their applications in due time and who comply with the requirements of this Act:

1) a ballot paper;

2) two envelopes.

§ 45. Voting by post

(1) A voter shall complete a ballot paper pursuant to the requirements of this Act. The voter shall place the completed ballot paper in one of the envelopes sent by the representation. The voter shall place the envelope with the ballot paper in the other envelope sent by the representation. The voter shall write his or her name and personal identification code on the outer envelope. A voter temporarily staying in a foreign state shall also write his or her residential address in Estonia on the outer envelope. Thereafter the voter shall send the ballot paper to the representation.

(2) Ballot papers sent by post shall reach the representation on the day determined by the representation, which shall be determined such that the National Electoral Committee will receive the ballot papers not later than on the fourth day before the day of the referendum.

(3) A representation shall prepare a list of voters who voted by post and shall forward the list to the National Electoral Committee. The list shall reach the National Electoral Committee not later than on the fourth day before the day of the referendum.

(4) Upon voting by post, the expenses relating to the acts specified in subsection 43 (1) and subsection (1) of this section shall be borne by the voter.

§ 46. Electronic voting in foreign states

(1) A voter who has been entered in the list of voters permanently residing in a foreign state or who is temporarily staying in a foreign state and who holds a certificate for giving a digital signature may vote on the webpage of the National Electoral Committee.

(2) Electronic voting shall be held at the time prescribed in subsection 31 (2) and pursuant to the procedure prescribed in § 37.

§ 47. Voting at representation

(1) If a voter does not submit an application to vote by post within the term provided for in subsection 43 (5) or does not send a ballot paper to the representation by the due date provided for in subsection 45 (2), he or she may vote at the representation at a time determined by the representation.

(2) A representation shall allow voting on at least two days in the period between fifteen days and ten days before the day of the referendum.

(3) At a representation, a voter shall complete a ballot paper pursuant to the requirements of this Act. Thereafter the voter shall place the completed ballot paper in an envelope. The voter shall place the envelope with the ballot paper in another envelope. The voter or the person organising the voting shall write the name and personal identification code of the voter on the outer envelope. A voter temporarily staying in a foreign state shall also write his or her residential address in Estonia on the outer envelope.

(4) A person who votes at a representation shall sign the list of voters voting at the representation against the receipt of a ballot paper.

§ 48. Taking ballot papers into account upon verification of voting results

(1) As the voting results are being verified, the ballot papers which have been sent to the National Electoral Committee by a representation and which have arrived not later than on the fourth day before the day of the referendum shall be taken into account.

(2) When the National Electoral Committee has received the envelopes with ballot papers of voters permanently residing in a foreign state, the Committee shall verify that the voters permanently residing in a foreign state have not voted several times and that the voters permanently residing in a foreign state who voted in Estonia are entered in the list of voters permanently residing in a foreign state.

(3) If a voter permanently residing in a foreign state has voted several times or has not been entered in the list of voters permanently residing in a foreign state, the National Electoral Committee shall not take into account any of the ballot papers completed by the voter or any vote cast electronically by the voter in the verification of the voting results.

(4) The National Electoral Committee shall designate a county electoral committee which shall verify the voting results of voters permanently residing in a foreign state.

(5) The National Electoral Committee shall forward the ballot papers of voters permanently residing in a foreign state to the electoral committee designated pursuant to subsection (4) not later than on the second day before the day of the referendum.

(6) Envelopes with the ballot papers of voters permanently residing in a foreign state shall remain in the county electoral committee and shall be opened on the day of the referendum in order to verify the voting results.

(7) Not later than on the day before the day of the referendum, the National Electoral Committee shall forward the envelopes with the ballot papers of voters temporarily staying in a foreign state through the county electoral committee to the division committees where the ballots are to be taken into account when the voting results are being verified pursuant to subsections 41 (4)-(7).

§ 49. Voting on board ship flying national flag of Estonia and located in international waters or waters of foreign state

(1) If a ship flying the national flag of the Republic of Estonia has voters on board and is located in international waters or waters of a foreign state on advance polling days or the day of the referendum, the master of the ship may submit an application to the National Election Committee to hold voting on board the ship.

(2) The master of a ship shall organise voting on board the ship pursuant to the provisions of this Act not earlier than on the thirtieth day before the day of the referendum. A voter shall vote on board a ship pursuant to the provisions of subsections 35 (3) and (4). Upon verification of the voting results, votes cast on board a ship shall be taken into account pursuant to the provisions of subsections 48 (1) and (7) and 41 (4)-(7).

Chapter 9

Verification of Voting Results

§ 50. Verification of voting results in division committees

(1) A division committee shall open the ballot boxes on the day of the referendum after the close of voting. More than one-half of the members of the division committee shall be present at the opening.

(2) Before the ballot boxes are opened, the division committee shall count and cancel all ballot papers that were not issued to voters and all spoiled ballot papers returned by voters. Ballot papers shall be cancelled by cutting off a corner of the ballot paper.

(3) Before the ballot boxes are opened, the division committee shall use the polling lists to verify the number of voters entered in the lists and count the signatures in the polling lists given in receipt of a ballot paper to verify the number of voters who were given a ballot paper, and shall enter these numbers in a standard format record.

(4) When a ballot box is opened, the condition of the impression of the seal on the box shall be inspected.

(5) The seal of the division committee shall be affixed to the outside of ballot papers of home voters, and the ballot papers shall be placed among the ballot papers of voters who voted at the polling place.

(6) The seal of the division committee shall be affixed to the outside of ballot papers of voters who voted outside the polling division of their residence, and these ballots and the ballot papers of persons who voted at the advance polls shall be placed among the ballot papers of persons who voted on the day of the referendum.

(7) On the basis of the ballot papers in the ballot box, the division committee shall verify the number of persons who participated in the voting, the number of invalid ballot papers and the number of affirmative and negative responses to the issue submitted to the referendum, and shall enter these numbers in a standard format record.

(8) A ballot paper shall be deemed to be invalid if:

1) it does not bear two seals of the division committee;

2) neither or both of the spaces for answers have been completed on the ballot paper or

3) the answer on the ballot paper has been changed.

(9) A ballot paper is valid if neither of the spaces for answers have been completed on the paper but the will of the voter is clear and unambiguous.

(10) A standard format record shall be prepared concerning the verification of the voting results. The chairman of the committee shall sign the record. The date and time of preparation of the record shall be indicated therein.

(11) After verification of the voting results, valid ballot papers shall be packed as per the answer given. Invalid ballot papers, ballot papers which were not issued to voters and spoiled ballot papers returned by voters shall be packed separately. The division from which the ballot papers originate and the type and number of ballot papers in the pack shall be marked on the pack. The chairman of the division committee shall sign the label.

(12) Ballot papers, polling lists, records concerning voting results and any dissenting opinions of members of the committee shall be promptly delivered to the county electoral committee.

(13) Voting results shall be verified in a division committee in public.

§ 51. Counting of votes cast at advance polls

(1) A division committee shall open the ballot box used for advance polls to count the votes at 7 p.m. on the day of the referendum. At least three members or alternate members of the committee shall be present at the opening.

(2) The votes cast in the advance polls shall be counted in a room separate from the polling place.

(3) The inner envelopes which contain the ballot papers of voters who voted outside the polling division of their residence shall be opened, and the ballots shall be taken into account when summaries are made concerning the results of the advance polls and they shall be kept separately from other ballot papers.

(4) A summary, signed by the chairman of the committee, shall be prepared concerning the results of the advance polls. The results of the advance polls shall be promptly delivered to the county electoral committee or the National Electoral Committee.

(5) The results of the advance polls shall not be disclosed before 8 p.m.

(6) The counting of votes cast at the advance polls in a polling division shall be public. Persons who are present at the counting of votes shall follow any oral orders given by members of the division committee. Persons who are present at the counting of votes shall not bring any means of communication into the room where the votes are counted or leave the room before 8 p.m.

§ 52. Verification of voting results of voters permanently residing in foreign state

(1) The county electoral committee designated according to subsection 48 (4) shall begin counting the votes cast by voters permanently residing in a foreign state at 7 p.m. on the day of the referendum. At least three members of the county electoral committee shall be present at the opening of the envelopes, including the chairman or deputy chairman of the committee.

(2) The inner envelopes which contain the ballot papers of voters permanently residing in a foreign state shall be opened and a seal shall be affixed to the outside of the ballot papers.

(3) On the basis of the ballot papers, the county electoral committee shall verify the number of voters permanently residing in a foreign state who participated in the voting, the number of invalid ballot papers and the number of affirmative and negative responses to the issue submitted to the referendum. A ballot paper shall be declared invalid according to subsections 50 (8) and (9).

(4) The voting results of voters permanently residing in a foreign state shall not be disclosed before 8 p.m.

(5) A standard format record shall be prepared concerning verification of the voting results of voters permanently residing in a foreign state. The chairman of the committee shall sign the record. The date and time of preparation of the record shall be indicated therein.

(6) The voting results of voters permanently residing in a foreign state shall be verified in public, taking into account the restrictions prescribed in subsection 51 (6) of this Act.

§ 53. Verification of voting results in county electoral committees

(1) On the basis of the records received from the division committees, the county electoral committees shall verify the number of voters entered in the polling lists, the number of voters who were given a ballot paper, the number of voters who participated in voting, the number of invalid ballot papers and the number of affirmative and negative responses to the issue submitted to the referendum. The ballot papers shall be counted in order to check the results.

(2) If the numbers obtained by recounting the ballot papers are different from the numbers in the records of a division committee, the county electoral committee shall set out the differences and the circumstances which caused such differences in the appendix to the record. The records of the division committee shall not be amended. The county electoral committee shall adopt a decision concerning the final voting results.

(3) A county electoral committee shall prepare a record concerning voting results in the county and in the cities of Tallinn and Tartu which shall be signed by the chairman of the committee. The date and time of preparation of the record shall be indicated therein.

(4) Voting results shall be verified in a county electoral committee in public.

§ 54. Verification of voting results in National Electoral Committee

(1) On the basis of the records concerning the voting results of voters in counties and voters permanently residing in a foreign state which are received from the county electoral committees and on the basis of the voting results of people who voted electronically, the National Electoral Committee shall verify the number of voters entered in the polling lists, the number of voters who were given a ballot paper, the number of voters who participated in voting, the number of invalid ballot papers and the number of affirmative and negative responses to the issue submitted to the referendum.

(2) The National Electoral Committee shall prepare a record concerning the voting results. The Chairman of the Committee shall sign the record. The date and time of preparation of the record shall be indicated therein.

(3) The results of electronic voting shall not be disclosed before the close of voting on the day of the referendum.

(4) Voting results shall be verified in the National Electoral Committee in public.

Chapter 10

Expenditure Relating to Referendum

§ 55. Expenditure relating to holding of referendum

(1) Expenditure for the preparation and holding of a referendum shall be covered from the state budget.

(2) The National Electoral Committee shall prepare a draft budget for expenditure relating to a referendum and shall submit it to the Government of the Republic through the Minister of Finance.

(3) The National Electoral Committee shall decide on the distribution of budget expenditure on the basis of the size of the allocations from the state budget or the size of the amounts allocated by the Government of the Republic.

(4) Expenditure relating to keeping records of voters shall be covered from the state budget out of separate funds allocated to the budget of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or out of amounts allocated by the Government of the Republic.

Chapter 11

Complaints

§ 56. Definition of complaint

For the purposes of this Act, a complaint is a request for the review of a resolution of an electoral committee and for the declaration of the resolution as invalid or for the declaration of an act of an electoral committee as unlawful, which is filed with a county electoral committee or the National Electoral Committee and is prepared according to the requirements of this Act.

§ 57. Requirements for complaint

(1) A complaint shall be prepared in writing and shall set out the following:

1) the name of the body with which the complaint is filed;

2) the name, postal address and telecommunications numbers of the complainant;

3) information on the resolution or a description of the act against which the complaint is filed;

4) a clearly expressed request;

5) the reasons for the complaint;

6) the date.

(2) A complaint shall be signed by the complainant.

(3) If a complaint is not prepared according to the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) or the complaint is filed in violation of the procedure prescribed in §§ 58 and 59, the person with which the complaint is filed may return the complaint to the complainant without reviewing it.

§ 58. Procedure for filing complaint against act of division committee and for review of complaint

(1) If an interested person finds that an act of a division committee violates his or her rights, the person may file a complaint with the county electoral committee.

(2) The complaint shall be filed with a county electoral committee within three days as of the act prescribed in subsection (1) being performed.

(3) The county electoral committee shall review the complaint and adopt a resolution within three working days as of receipt of the complaint. The county electoral committee shall promptly communicate the resolution to the complainant.

(4) The complaint shall be reviewed in public. The county electoral committee shall inform the complainant of the date and place of review of the complaint.

(5) The county electoral committee shall make one of the following resolutions:

1) to dismiss the complaint;

2) to satisfy the complaint;

3) to satisfy the complaint partially.

(6) If a county electoral committee satisfies the complaint, the committee may decide:

1) to suspend the activities of the member of a division committee who violated the law;

2) to declare an act of a division committee unlawful and issue a precept to the division committee for elimination of the violation;

3) to make a proposal to the National Electoral Committee to declare the voting results in the polling division invalid and to hold a repeat vote in the polling division if the violation significantly affected or could have significantly affected the voting results.

§ 59. Procedure for filing complaint against resolution or act of county electoral committee and for review of complaint

(1) If an interested person finds that a resolution or act of a county electoral committee violates his or her rights, the person may file a complaint with the National Electoral Committee. A person whose complaint against an act of a division committee is dismissed by a county electoral committee may file a complaint against the act of the division committee with the National Electoral Committee.

(2) The complaint shall be filed with the county electoral committee which adopted the resolution or performed the act against which the complaint is filed or which reviewed the complaint filed against an act within three days as of the resolution or act prescribed in subsection (1) being adopted or performed. The county electoral committee shall forward the complaint together with its written explanation promptly to the National Electoral Committee.

(3) The National Electoral Committee shall review the complaint and shall adopt a resolution within three working days as of receipt of the complaint. The National Electoral Committee shall promptly communicate the resolution to the complainant.

(4) The complaint shall be reviewed in public. The National Electoral Committee shall inform the complainant of the date and place of review of the complaint.

(5) The National Electoral Committee shall adopt one of the following resolutions:

1) to dismiss the complaint;

2) to satisfy the complaint;

3) to satisfy the complaint partially.

(6) If the National Electoral Committee satisfies the complaint, the Committee may decide:

1) to suspend the activities of the member of a division committee or county electoral committee who violated the law;

2) to repeal a resolution of a county electoral committee or declare an act of a division committee or county electoral committee unlawful and to issue a precept to the division committee or county electoral committee for elimination of the violation;

3) to declare the voting results in the division, the county, the city of Tallinn or Tartu or the state invalid and to hold a repeat vote if the violation significantly affected or could have significantly affected the voting results.

§ 60. Filing of complaints against resolutions or acts of electoral committees

(1) If an interested person finds that an act of a division committee, a resolution or act of a county electoral committee or a resolution or act of the National Electoral Committee violates his or her rights, the person may file an appeal with the Supreme Court pursuant to the procedure prescribed in the Constitutional Review Court Procedure Act.

(2) An appeal against a resolution or act of an electoral committee may be filed with the Supreme Court after adjudication of the matter in the National Electoral Committee. The appeal shall be filed with the Supreme Court through the National Electoral Committee within three days as of the resolution or act of the National Electoral Committee being announced or performed.

§ 61. Invalidation of voting results

(1) If the National Electoral Committee or the Supreme Court has declared the voting results in a division, a county, the city of Tallinn or Tartu or the state invalid, the National Electoral Committee shall determine a new date for the referendum and a repeat vote shall be held in the appropriate division or county, in the city of Tallinn or Tartu or in the whole state. The results of the referendum shall be verified after the results of the repeat vote become clear. Voting results shall not be declared invalid if the violation does not significantly affect the results of the referendum.

(2) The provisions of §§ 33–38 and 40 and Chapter 8 do not apply to a repeat vote.

Chapter 12

Announcement of Results of Referendum

§ 62. Approval and announcement of results of referendum

(1) The National Electoral Committee shall approve the results of the referendum by a resolution after the day of the referendum but not before the term for filing complaints and appeals with county electoral committees, the National Electoral Committee and the Supreme Court has expired or before final resolutions have been made in respect of such complaints and appeals.

(2) In the case prescribed in § 61, the National Electoral Committee shall approve the results of the referendum after the repeat vote, taking into consideration subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The results of the referendum are deemed to have been declared on the date following publication of the resolution of the National Electoral Committee in the Riigi Teataja according to subsection (1) or (2).

§ 63. Proclamation and entry into force of Act passed by referendum

(1) The National Electoral Committee shall submit an Act passed by a referendum and a resolution to approve the results of the referendum to the President of the Republic on the date on which the results of the referendum are announced. The President of the Republic shall promptly proclaim the Act.

(2) An Act which amends the Constitution and which is passed by a referendum shall enter into force on the date specified therein, but not earlier than three months as of its proclamation.

(3) Other Acts passed by a referendum shall enter into force on the tenth day after their publication in the Riigi Teataja, if no other date is prescribed in the Act.

(4) A resolution made on another national issue submitted to a referendum shall enter into force on the date on which the results of the referendum are announced.

§ 64. Calling of extraordinary Riigikogu elections

If a draft Act submitted to a referendum does not receive a majority of votes in favour, the President of the Republic shall call extraordinary Riigikogu elections pursuant to the procedure prescribed in the Riigikogu Election Act, unless the authority of the composition of the Riigikogu which passed the resolution to submit the draft Act to a referendum has terminated.

Chapter 13

Implementing Provisions

§ 65. Implementation of electronic voting

Electronic voting shall not be implemented before 2005.

§ 66. Amendment of Criminal Code

Section 131 of the Criminal Code (RT 1992, 20, 287 and 288; RT I 2001, 73, 452; 85, 510; 87, 526) is amended and worded as follows:

Ҥ 131. Prevention of exercise of right to vote

Preventing by means of violence, deceit or threat or in any other manner, an elector or voter from freely exercising his or her right to vote or to be elected as President of the Republic, a member of the Riigikogu or a member of a local government council or to vote in a referendum held pursuant to the legislation of the Republic of Estonia or to campaign before an election or referendum, and buying the vote of an elector or voter is punishable by a fine or detention or up to one year imprisonment.”

§ 67. Amendment of Code of Administrative Offences

Section 182 of the Code of Administrative Offences (RT 1992, 29, 396; RT I 2001, 74, 453; 87, 524 and 526; 97, 605; 102, 677; 2002, 18, 98; 21, 117) is amended and worded as follows:

Ҥ 182. Campaigning on President of the Republic election day, Riigikogu election day, local government council election day or referendum day

A fine of up to twenty fine units shall be imposed for campaigning at political meetings, meetings or pickets or for other active campaigning in order to influence voting results on the day on which elections are held for President of the Republic, for the Riigikogu or for local government councils or on the day of a referendum, and for any kind of campaigning in polling places and in premises through which voters enter polling places.”

§ 68. The Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Act (RT I 1994, 90, 1517; 2001, 1, 1; 94, 581; 2002, 30, 176; 64, 393) is amended as follows:

1) section 52 is amended and worded as follows:

Ҥ 52. Initiation of referendum in order to pass Act or decide on other national issue

(1) The following have the right to initiate a referendum in order to pass an Act or decide on another national issue:

1) members of the Riigikogu;

2) factions of the Riigikogu;

3) committees of the Riigikogu.

(2) If a referendum is initiated in order to pass an Act, the initiator shall submit:

1) the draft Act to be submitted to a referendum together with the draft resolution to hold the referendum or

2) the draft resolution to hold the referendum which sets out the draft Act in the legislative proceeding of the Riigikogu to be submitted to a referendum. In the latter case, the initiator of the draft Act shall be indicated in the explanatory memorandum.

(3) If a referendum is initiated in order to decide on another national issue, the initiator shall submit the draft resolution to hold the referendum which sets out the issue to be submitted to a referendum to which the only possible answers are “jah” [yes] or “ei” [no].

(4) The title of a draft resolution to hold a referendum shall include the words “rahvahääletuse korraldamine” [holding of referendum].

(5) The draft resolution shall set out the date of the referendum.”;

2) the Act is amended by adding Chapter 121 worded as follows:

“Chapter 121

Resolution to Hold Referendum in order to Pass Act or Decide on Other National Issue

§ 1241. Resolution to hold referendum in order to pass Act

(1) If an initiator submits a draft Act which the initiator wishes to submit to a referendum, proceedings regarding the draft Act shall be conducted together with the draft resolution to hold the referendum pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 9 and 14 of this Act. The plenary assembly of the Riigikogu shall deliberate the draft Act and the draft resolution as one item on the agenda. If the draft Act is rejected at the first reading, the draft resolution is also deemed to have been rejected from the proceedings. Members of the Riigikogu have the right to submit motions to amend the draft Act and the draft resolution.

(2) If an initiator submits a draft resolution to hold a referendum pursuant to the procedure provided for in clause 52 (2) 2) of this Act, the draft resolution shall firstly be deliberated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 9 of this Act. During the first deliberation of the draft, the Riigikogu shall decide by a majority of votes in favour whether to combine the proceedings regarding the draft resolution with the proceedings regarding the draft Act indicated therein. If the Riigikogu decides to combine the proceedings regarding the draft Act and the proceedings regarding the draft resolution, the joined proceedings shall commence from the stage of the proceedings regarding the draft Act and shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 9 and 14 of this Act. The plenary assembly of the Riigikogu shall deliberate the draft Act and the draft resolution as one item on the agenda. If the Riigikogu does not decide to combine the proceedings regarding the draft Act and the draft resolution, the draft resolution is deemed to have been rejected.

(3) If an initiator withdraws from proceedings a draft Act together with which the initiator has submitted a draft resolution to hold a referendum or to which the Riigikogu has bound a draft resolution to hold a referendum, the draft resolution is also deemed to have been withdrawn from the proceedings.

(4) The Riigikogu shall decide to hold a referendum in order to pass an Act by voting on the draft resolution at the second or third reading of the draft Act after voting on the motions to amend, unless the second reading of the draft Act is suspended, the draft Act is sent to a third reading or the third reading of the draft Act is suspended.

(5) A majority of votes in favour is required to pass a draft resolution as a resolution. In order to submit draft Acts specified in subsection 104 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia to a referendum, the corresponding draft resolutions must receive a majority of votes of the members of the Riigikogu. If a draft resolution is not passed as a resolution, the draft Act is also deemed to have been rejected.

§ 1242. Submission of other national issue to referendum

A draft resolution to hold a referendum to decide on another national issue shall be deliberated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 9 of this Act. A majority of votes in favour is required to pass the resolution.”

§ 69. Amendment of Chancellor of Justice Act

The Chancellor of Justice Act (RT I 1999, 29, 406; 2000, 92, 597; 2001, 43, 240; 58, 353; 2002, 30, 176; 57, 357; 2003, 20, 119; 23, 142) is amended as follows:

1) section 16 is amended by adding the words "and resolutions to hold a referendum" after the words "which have entered into force";

2) subsection (11) is added to § 18 worded as follows:

“(11) If the Chancellor of Justice finds that a draft Act, except a draft Act to amend the Constitution, or other national issue which is submitted to a referendum is in conflict with the Constitution or that the Riigikogu has materially violated the established procedure upon passage of the resolution to hold the referendum, he or she shall, within fourteen days as of receipt of the resolution of the Riigikogu, make a proposal to the Supreme Court to repeal the resolution of the Riigikogu concerning the submission of a draft Act or other national issue to a referendum.”

§ 70. Repeal of previous Referendum Act

The Referendum Act (RT I 1994, 41, 659; 1998, 98/99, 1577; 2000, 95, 610) is repealed.

1 RT = Riigi Teataja = State Gazette

2 Riigikogu = the parliament of Estonia

Source: Estonian Legal Language Centre