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Estonians first to cast national votes online

Jeannie Choe
March 3, 2007
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For a lucky group of Eastern European cyber-voters, e-voting no longer entails traveling to an official location to poke at a screen -- let's just hope they managed to shake off e-voting's penchant for fraud while they were at it. Nationwide voting in cyberspace has finally become a reality in, of all places, Estonia. Eeeh? Yep. Estonia's been keen on the idea of voting via the internet since 2001 and became the first country in the world to hold legit general elections when they implemented the remote e-voting process locally in 2005. As of this week, they own yet again with over 30,000 of 940,000 eligible Estonians casting virtual ballots in the world's first online parliamentary election. Online voters even have the option to re-vote with a paper ballot in the event that hurried or pressured decisions were made from their remote voting locations. This option is evidently proving to be an effective way to boost voter turnout, which was only 58 percent in 2003. Let's hope this "using the internet to encourage voting" trend catches on in some other countries (ahem) that also suffer from less-than-impressive election turnouts.

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