Estonian National Electoral Committee

Excerpt from the Riigikogu Election Act

Chapter 4
ELECTORAL COMMITTEES

§ 9. Types of electoral committees

(1) Riigikogu elections are organised by the following electoral committees:
1) the National Electoral Committee;
2) county electoral committees;
3) voting district committees;
4) the Electronic Voting Committee.

(2) In Tallinn and the city of Tartu, the functions of the county electoral committees shall be performed by the city electoral committee.

§ 10. Term of authority of electoral committee

(1) The term of authority of the National Electoral Committee shall be four years.

(2) The term of authority of county electoral committees, the electoral committees of the cities of Tallinn and Tartu and the Electronic Voting Committee shall be four years.

(3) Voting district committees shall be formed before regular and extraordinary Riigikogu elections. The authority of a voting district committee shall continue until the new membership of the committee is appointed.

§ 11. Member of electoral committee

(1) A person who has the right to vote according to subsections 4 (1)-(3) of this Act and whose authority of a member of an electoral committee has not been terminated in the course of the last five years by a resolution of the National Electoral Committee may be a member of an electoral committee. A member of an electoral committee shall be proficient in Estonian.

(2) A person may be a member of only one electoral committee.

(3) The authority of a member of an electoral committee shall terminate prematurely:
1) if it becomes evident that he or she has no right to vote pursuant to subsections 4 (1)–(3) of this Act;
2) due to his or her resignation;
3) due to his or her death;
4) by a resolution of the National Electoral Committee.

(4) A person may be released from his or her duties as a member of an electoral committee by a reasoned resolution of the official who or body which appointed him or her either on the initiative of the official or body or on the proposal of the electoral committee.

(5) The authority of a member of an electoral committee shall be suspended if he or she:
1) becomes an authorised representative of a political party;
2) becomes an authorised representative of an independent candidate;
3) is nominated as a candidate for election to the Riigikogu;
4) by a Resolution of a county electoral committee or the National Electoral Committee.

(6) [Repealed - entry into force 14.07.2006]

(7) The authority of a member of an electoral committee shall be restored:
1) in the cases prescribed in clauses (5) 1) and 2) of this section, as of the date when the election results are announced;
2) in the case prescribed in clause (5) 3) of this section, as of the date following the date when the candidate is not registered or declines to stand as a candidate or as of the date when the election results are announced if the candidate is not elected.

(8) A member of an electoral committee shall not campaign for or against political parties or candidates.

(9) A member of an electoral committee shall be independent in the performance of his or her duties. A member of an electoral committee shall operate pursuant to law and the instructions of a superior electoral committee.

§ 12. Working procedures of electoral committee

(1) The work format of an electoral committee shall be a meeting, which shall be convened by the chairman of the committee or, in his or her absence, by the deputy chairman, and in the absence of both the chairman and the deputy chairman, by the youngest member of the electoral committee.

(2) An electoral committee has a quorum if at least one-half of the members of the committee are present, including the chairman or deputy chairman.

(3) Minutes shall be taken of the meetings of an electoral committee.

(4) The meetings of an electoral committee shall be public. Everyone has the right to examine resolutions of an electoral committee and the minutes of committee meetings.

(5) An electoral committee shall decide the issues within its competence by a majority of votes in favour. Any dissenting opinion of a member of the committee shall be recorded in the minutes.

(6) If the authority of a member of an electoral committee is suspended or terminates, the chairman shall notify the first alternate member thereof who shall assume the obligations of the member of the electoral committee.

(7) On the basis of a resolution of an electoral committee, alternate members or other persons may participate in election activities.

(8) If a member of the National Electoral Committee cannot participate in a meeting of the Committee, an alternate member who has all the rights and obligations of a member of the Committee, except the rights and obligations of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman, shall substitute for him or her.

(9) For the time elections are being organised, the employment contract or service relationship of a member or alternate member of an electoral committee or a person assisting the committee shall be suspended on the basis of a proposal made by the electoral committee.

(10) A member of the National Electoral Committee shall receive remuneration for the participation in a meeting of the Committee and for the performance of other functions of the Committee. The hourly fee rate of a member of the National Electoral Committee shall be 25 times the minimum hourly wage established by the Government of the Republic. The procedure for payment of the remuneration shall be provided for in the working procedure of the National Electoral Committee.

(11) Members of county electoral committees shall be paid remuneration out of the allocations prescribed in the state budget for the organisation of elections. The procedure for distribution of the allocation and payment of the remuneration shall be provided for in a regulation of the National Electoral Committee.

(12) The hourly fee rate of a member of the Electronic Voting Committee shall be up to 20 times the minimum hourly wage established by the Government of the Republic. The procedure for payment of the remuneration shall be provided for in a regulation of the National Electoral Committee.

§ 13. Assistance to electoral committee

(1) State and local government bodies, administrative agencies and other agencies are, within their competence, required to assist electoral committees in the organisation of elections.

(2) An electoral committee has the right to address state or local government bodies, administrative agencies or other agencies in writing regarding issues concerning the organisation of elections. An answer shall be provided to an inquiry made by an electoral committee within three working days as of the receipt thereof.

§ 14. Formation of National Electoral Committee

(1) The National Electoral Committee comprises the following members:
1) a judge of a court of first instance appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court;
2) a judge of a court of appeal appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court;
3) an adviser to the Chancellor of Justice appointed by the Chancellor of Justice;
4) an official of the State Audit Office appointed by the Auditor General;
5) a public prosecutor appointed by the Chief Public Prosecutor;
6) an official of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu appointed by the Secretary General of the Riigikogu;
7) an official of the State Chancellery appointed by the State Secretary.

(2) The members of the National Electoral Committee shall be appointed not later than on the tenth day before the authority of the Committee terminates.

(3) The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Electoral Committee shall be elected by the electoral committee from among its members at the first meeting of the committee. The first meeting of the National Electoral Committee shall be convened by the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the previous National Electoral Committee not later than on the seventh day after the beginning of the authority of the Committee.

(4) The person who appoints a member of the National Electoral Committee to office shall appoint an alternate member for the member.

(5) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court may appoint a judge as a member of the National Electoral Committee only with the consent of the judge and after considering the opinion of the chief judge of the court.

(6) Operational and clerical support shall be provided to the National Electoral Committee by the Chancellery of the Riigikogu.

(7) The National Electoral Committee shall establish its working procedure.

(8) The National Electoral Committee shall be registered in the state register of state and local government authorities.

§ 15. Competence of National Electoral Committee

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

(2) The National Electoral Committee has the right:
1) to suspend or terminate the authority of a member of a voting district committee, the Electronic Voting Committee or a county electoral committee if she or she violates the Riigikogu Election Act, a regulation of the National Electoral Committee or instructions of a superior electoral committee;
2) to issue precepts for the elimination of deficiencies of an act of a county electoral committee, the Electronic Voting Committee or voting district committee or a resolution of a county electoral committee;
3) to suspend an act of a county electoral committee, the Electronic Voting Committee or voting district committee or the validity of a resolution of a county electoral committee;
4) to repeal a resolution of a county electoral committee or to declare an act of a voting district committee, the Electronic Voting Committee or a county electoral committee unlawful and to issue a precept to the voting district committee, Electronic Voting Committee or county electoral committee for elimination of the violation;
5) not to start electronic voting or to terminate electronic voting if the security or reliability of the electronic voting system cannot be insured in such way that electronic voting could be conducted pursuant to the requirements of this Act;
6) to repeal, in case of suspension or termination of electronic voting, the votes given by electronic means in full or partially;
7) to declare the voting results in a voting district, an electoral district, a county, Tallinn, the city of Tartu or the state invalid or to declare the electronic voting results invalid in full or partially and to hold a repeat vote if the violation significantly affected or could have significantly affected the voting results.

(3) The National Electoral Committee shall issue regulations in the cases prescribed in subsections (4) and (5) of this section. The Chairman shall sign the regulations of the National Electoral Committee. Regulations enter into force on the third day after publication in the Riigi Teataja.

(4) The National Electoral Committee shall establish, by a regulation, the following for the holding of elections and referendums:
1) the working procedure of the National Electoral Committee;
2) the procedure for the organisation of electronic voting and the ascertaining of the results of electronic voting;
3) the statutes of the electronic voting system;
4) the statutes of the election information system.

(5) The National Electoral Committee shall establish, by a regulation, the following for the holding of Riigikogu elections:
1) the procedure for the presentation of candidates for registration and for the registration of candidates;
2) the standard format of applications for the registration of candidates, the standard format of the list of candidates in an electoral district, the standard format of the national lists of candidates, the standard format of applications to stand as a candidate and the standard format of the personal data forms of candidates;
3) the procedure for voting in foreign states;
4) the standard format of lists of voters;
5) the procedure for the holding of voting and ascertaining of voting results and election results;
6) the standard format of ballot papers;
7) the standard format of the records of voting results and election results;
8) the status of observer;
9) the procedure for the use of money allocated for the organisation of elections.

(6) The National Electoral Committee shall adopt a resolution in order to resolve an individual issue 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.

(7) Regulations, resolutions and instructions of the National Electoral Committee shall be binding on county electoral committees, the Electronic Voting Committee and voting district committees.

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