Electronic voting internationally

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Polling place electronic voting or Internet voting examples have taken place in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.


The first known use of the term CyberVote was by Midac in 1995 when they ran a web based vote regarding the French nuclear testing in the Pacific region. The resulting petition was delivered to the French government on a Syquest removable hard disk. [1]

In October 2001 electronic voting was used for the first time in an Australian parliamentary election. In that election, 16,559 voters (8.3% of all votes counted) cast their votes electronically at polling stations in four places. [2] The Victorian State Government introduced electronic voting on a trial basis for the 2006 State election. [3]

Approximately 300,000 impaired Australians will vote independently for the first time in the 2007 elections. The Australian Electoral Commission has decided to implement voting machines in 29 locations.[4]

In 2007 Australian Defence Force and Defence civilian personnel deployed on operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands had the opportunity to vote via the Defence Restricted Network with an Australian Electoral Commission and Defence Department joint pilot project. [5]After votes were recorded, they were encrypted and transmitted from a Citrix server to the REV database A total of 2012 personnel registered for and 1511 votes were successfully cast in the pilot,[6] costing an estimated $521 per vote.[7] Electronically submitted votes were printed following polling day, and dispatched to the relevant Divisions for counting.[7]


Electronic voting in Belgium started in 1991. It is widely used in Belgium for general and municipal elections and has been since 1999.


Elections in Brazil#The Brazilian voting machines|Electronic voting in Brazil was introduced in 1996, when the first tests were carried in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Since 2000, all Brazilian elections have been fully electronic. By the 2000 and 2002 elections more than 400 thousand electronic voting machines were used nationwide in Brazil and the results were tallied electronically within minutes after the polls closed.[2] Joao Abud Jr. who was with the original Brazilian company and has served as president of Diebold Procom Industria Electronica since April 2003, has been promoted to vice president of the company's Latin American Division.


Electronic voting in Canada has been used since at least the 1990s at the municipal level in many cities, and there are increasing efforts in a few areas to introduce it at a provincial level.

In the Canadian Province of Ontario, from November 5 to November 10 2003, 12 municipalities from the Prescott Russell and Stormont Dundas & Glengarry Counties held the first full municipal and school board electronic elections in North America using either the Internet or the phone but no paper ballots.[2]

Peterborough, Ontario|Peterborough, Ontario used Internet voting in 2006 in addition to the paper ballots.[8]


Electronic voting in Estonia began in October 2005 local elections when Estonia became the first country to have legally binding general elections using the Internet as a means of casting the vote and was declared a success by the Estonian election officials.

In 2007 Estonia held its and the world's first National Internet election. Voting was available from February 26 to 28.[9] A total of 30,275 citizens used Internet voting.[10]

EU CyberVote Project

In September 2000, the European Commission launched the CyberVote project with the aim of demonstrating "fully verifiable on-line elections guaranteeing absolute privacy of the votes and using fixed and mobile Internet terminals".[2]

Trials were performed in Sweden, France, and Germany.[11]


In April 2007, broad use of DRE machines were introduced in polling places (expected to be used for approximately 1.5 million votes) for the 1st round of the Presidential elections. A record turnout and inadequate number of voting machines long lines at the polls were widespread. A few cities abandoned them for the 2nd round, but partly because of the time lost in explanations (record turnout).[citation needed]

In January 2007 France's Union for a Popular Movement|UMP party held a national presidential primary using both remote electronic voting and with 750 polling stations using touch screen electronic voting over the Internet. The election resulted in over 230,000 votes representing a near 70% turnout.[12]

Elections in France utilized remote Internet voting for the first time in 2003 when French citizens living in the United States elected their representatives to the Assembly of the French Citizens Abroad. Over 60% of voters chose to vote using the Internet rather than paper. The Forum des droits sur l'Internet (Internet rights forum), published a recommendation on the future of electronic voting in France, stating that French citizens abroad should be able to use Internet voting for Assembly of the French Citizens Abroad elections.[13]


Electronic voting in India was first introduced in 1982 and was used on an experimental basis in the North Parur assembly constituency in the State of Kerala. However the Supreme Court of India struck down this election as against the law in A C Jose v. Sivan Pillai case. Amendments were made to the Representation of Peoples Act to legalize elections using Electronic Voting Machines. In 2003, all state elections and by-elections were held using EVMs.[2]

In May 2004 e-voting was used in the general election where an estimated 380 million people voted. [14]


Ireland bought voting computers from the Dutch company Nedap for about 50 million euro. The machines were used on a 'pilot' basis in some constituencies in two elections in 2002. Due to campaigning by ICTE, Joe McCarthy, and the work of the Commission on Electronic Voting, the machines have not been used since, and their future is uncertain. [15]

Irish statistician David Edelman wrote that "scientists and statisticians presented evidence of both the possibility and actuality of fraud using such mahcines, the scale of public condemnation rose to such a level that the machines (50M Euro worth) were immediately banned in the entire Republic, and put into indefinite storage. Elections are still tallied manually there." [16]


On the 9th and 10th of April 2006 the Italian municipality of Cremona used Nedap Voting machines during the national elections. The pilot involved 3000 electors and 4 polling stations were equipped with Nedap systems. The electoral participation was very high and the pilot was successful.[17]

During the same elections (April 2006) the Ministry of New Technologies in cooperation with two big American companies organized a pilot only concerning e-counting. The experiment involved four regions and it cost 34 million of euro.[citation needed]


Since the late nineties, voting machines are used extensively during elections. Most areas in the Netherlands use electronic voting in polling places. The most widely used voting machines are produced by the company Nedap.[18] In the parliamentary elections of 2006, 21,000 persons will be using the[19] to cast their vote.

On 5. October 2006 the group "Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet" ("We do not trust voting machines") demonstrated on Dutch television how the Nedap ES3B machines could be manipulated in 5 minutes. The exchange of the software would not be recognisable by voters or election officials. [20] [21]

Apparently there was a case of an election official misinforming voters of when their vote is recorded and later recording it himself during municipality elections in Landerd, Netherlands in 2006. A candidate was also an election official and got the unusual amount of 181 votes in the polling place where he was working. In the other three polling places together he got 11 votes. [22] Only circumstantial evidence could be found because the voting machine was a DRE voting machine|direct-recording electronic voting machine, in a poll by a local newspaper the results were totally different. The case is still under prosecution.[23]

Van Eck phreaking might also compromise the secrecy of the votes in an election using electronic voting. This made the Dutch government ban the use of computer voting machines manufactured by SDU in the 2006 national elections, fearing that secret ballots may not be kept secret. [24]


The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development of Norway carried out pilots in three municipalities at local elections in 2003 on voting machines in the polling stations using touch screens.[2]


Romania first implemented electronic voting systems in 2003[25], on a limited basis, to extend voting capabilities to soldiers and others serving in Iraq, and other theaters of war. Despite the publicly stated goal of fighting corruption, the equipment was procured and deployed in less than 30 days[26] after the government edict passed.


Several cantons (Canton of Geneva|Geneva, Canton of Neuchatel|Neuchâtel and Canton of Zurich|Zürich) have developed Voting in Switzerland#Internet voting|Internet voting test projects to allow citizens to vote via the Internet [27].

United Kingdom


Voting pilots have taken place in May 2006,[28] June 2004,[29] May 2003,[30] May 2002, and May 2000.

In 2000, the London Mayoral and Assembly elections were counted using an optical scan voting system with software provided by DRS plc of Milton Keynes. In 2004, the London Mayoral, Assembly and European Parliamentary elections were scanned and processed using optical character recognition from the same company. Both elections required some editing of the ballot design to facilitate electronic tabulation, though they differed only slightly from the previous 'mark with an X' style ballots.[citation needed]


An optical scan voting system was be used to electronically count paper ballots in the Scottish Parliament general election, 2007|Scottish Parliament general election and Scottish council elections, 2007|Scottish council elections in 2007.[31][32] A report commissioned by the Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)|UK Electoral Commission found significant errors in ballot design produced more than 150,000 spoilt votes.[33]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. The Age, Melbourne; September 5, 1995 ref International Internet NewsClips
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 ACE Electoral Knowledge Network
  3. Victorian Electoral Commission Electronic Voting Pilot
  4. Blind and visually impaired will be able to cast secret ballots, Macey, Jennifer. ABC's The World Today
  5. Electronic Voting Trial for Deployed Defence Personnel from the Australian Electoral Commission
  6. Evaluation of the remote electronic voting trial for overseas based ADF personnel electors at the 2007 Federal Election, Australian Electoral Commission. March 2008
  7. 7.0 7.1 Remote Electronic Voting at the 2007 Federal Election for Overseas Australian Defence Force Personnel, a joint report between the AEC’s E-voting Team and Defence.
  8. City of Peterborough 2006 Municipal Election Website
  9. Estonia to hold first national Internet election, News.com, February 21, 2007
  10. Estonia Scores World Web First In National Polls, InformationWeek February 28, 2007
  11. EU CyberVote project
  12. E-VOTING: French Political Party UMP Makes History!
  13. WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ELECTRONIC VOTING IN FRANCE?, The Internet rights forum 26 September 2003
  14. The Jang Group International News, India elections: Vote counting starts, May 13, 2004.
  15. Cullen rules out use of e-voting in June
  16. David Edelman, Electronic Voting in the Republic of Ireland, May 31, 2007.
  17. Prima sperimentazione voto elettronico con NEDAP in Italia: CREMONA Template:It icon
  18. Security of Systems Group of the Nijmegen Institute for Computing and Information Sciences
  19. RIES Internet voting system
  20. Nedap/Groenendaal ES3B voting computer, a security analysis
  21. Dutch citizens group cracks Nedap's voting computer
  22. Statement of voting machine manufacturer Nedap Template:De icon
  23. Raadslid Landerd is stuk minder populair in schaduwverkiezing (dutch)
  24. Dutch government scraps plans to use voting computers in 35 cities including Amsterdam (Herald tribune, 30. October 2006)
  25. Romanian General Inspectorate for Communications and Information Technology
  26. European Commission finding on Romania 2003
  27. E-Voting - Home
  28. May 2006 pilot schemes from the Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)|UK Electoral Commission
  29. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY AND LOCAL ELECTIONS (ALL-POSTAL) PILOT ORDER 2004 from the Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)|UK Electoral Commission
  30. 2003 election reports archive from the Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)|UK Electoral Commission
  31. "Electronic counting to take over from tellers at elections", The Scotsman, 19 April, 2006
  32. "Green light for DRS & ERS to deliver e-Count for 2007 Scottish Elections", press release, DRS Data Services Limited
  33. Scottish Elections Review from the Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)|UK Electoral Commission, October 23, 2007

External resources




  • Hacking Democracy (HBO, 2006)

External articles