E-voting in E-stonia
The number of e-votes broke records at this year’s parliamentary elections, with a total of 176,491 recorded — 35,000 more than in the 2011 general elections. The total number of votes reached 577,914, which is 64.2% of registered voters, not much more than in Estonian parliamentary election of 2011, but still a healthy proportion of the electorate.
In the first general election after the restoration of independence in 1992, more than 10,000 votes from abroad were recorded. Today, the number of voters were barely more than 3000. There are a total of 77,000 potential voters abroad, but just a small minority exercise their right to vote. It seems that even the breaking records for technologically innovative forms of democracy is not enough for Estonians living in foreign countries.
The plan to upgrade the border with Russia over the next four years was introduced by Estonian interior minister Hanno Pevkur. The cost for marking, developing surveillance capabilities and building up infrastructures reached 70 million euros.
Moreover, the border on Lake Peipsi and other water bodies will be watched with 621 floating markings. The state will also continue buying up private land around the border area and finding new IT solutions. If the project is accepted by the new government, the first surveillance equipment will be placed during the year.
Weeding out the smugglers
When a sniffer dog of the Narva checkpoint barked at the freezer trailer of a Lithuanian-registered truck heading for Russia, officials didn’t expect to find a total of 830 kg of hashish inside it.
The sum of all narcotic substances seized by Estonian Tax and Customs Board in 2014 was 455 kg, only half the quantity found in the refrigerated trailer which was used primarily to transport flowers. Assuming a street value of 20 euros a gram, the haul was estimated to be worth 16.6 million euros.