Elections in the Digital Age

digital elections

Elections, like the rest of society, are increasingly digitalised.

While numerous advantages of this process, such as the inclusion of excluded voices, diaspora voting, as well as the organisation of elections in times of crisis are often cited as advantages, election digitalisation opens many questions and dilemmas such as the integrity of the electoral process.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the take-up of e-voting remains somewhat slow. According to research conducted by IDEA International, electronic voting is practised in only 34 out of 178 studied countries. Estonia, as the first country to allow e-voting in the 2005 general elections, is said to be one of the most advanced in the domain, with more than 43% of its electoral body casting their vote electronically in the 2019 EU elections. Attempts to introduce electronic voting have also been made in Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, but efforts are still far from being realised. 

However, e-voting is only a part of the equation. The use of digital technologies encompasses the entire electoral process, spanning from political advertising and voter registration, to vote counting and as such brings its share of challenges. So, let us dive into the various aspects of elections in the digital age via this compendium of key concepts.