5 Countries with the best Electronic Voting Systems

Online voting being the most recent in technology, has been in existence for a while now with Estonia popping the cherry by being the first country in the world to conduct general elections, using the internet as a means of casting the ballot in 2007.

It is pertinent to point out at this juncture that there are two other types of electronic voting systems – not including internet voting, that have had some level of success around the world. These are; optical scanning and direct recording. This is in no way saying the electronic voting system has been overwhelmingly successful. There is space for improvement obviously which is all the same admirable.

There’s been a mixed bag of reactions with a few countries jettisoning the system after adopting it, while some other countries implement it alongside the manual system of balloting. Only a small bunch of countries have been able to fully embrace electronic voting technology with the intention of continuing the practice in the future.

The aim of this post is to bring to you the five countries with the best electronic voting systems on the planet and the type of system they employ. I will be ranking these countries based on availability and the implementation of the latest technology with those voting over the internet scoring the most points.

  1. Canada

Canada employs electronic voting technology but is not higher on this list because they do not use this means of voting in the federal elections. But on the municipal level, they implement the use of Direct Recording (DRE) and optical scan machines. Internet voting tech is not really popular as it is only being introduced in a few precincts.

Systems used: Optical, DRE, internet

Available only at the municipal level

Score: 5/10

  1. Brazil

Brazil began the use of DRE voting machines in 1998 although it was partially rolled out in 1996. The country expanded DRE nationwide in 2000, and since then, electronic voting has been implemented at all levels of government nationwide. The country phased out entirely the use of paper ballots and all other paper trail systems in 2018.

Systems used: DRE

Available at levels nationwide

Score: 6.0/10

  1. Venezuela

Venezuela – just like Brazil, rolled out electronic voting technology in 1998 but has gone a step further to upgrade into touchscreen DRE machines which are currently in use today.

These machines have the added feature of being able to print a voter-verifiable paper trail. The poll results are also electronically transmitted.

Systems used: DRE (touchscreen)

Available at all levels nationwide

Score: 6.5/10

  1. India

India began the use of electronic voting machines way back in 1982, but the system was not adopted due to widespread criticism not until much later when they partially implemented the use of DRE voting machines in 1999 with this event taking place seventeen years after the first electronic system was introduced.

The country currently uses the portable push-button DRE machines that are powered by battery. They also implement the use of battery-powered voter-verification paper trail equipment. Recently, internet voting has been made available, albeit on a very limited level.

Systems used: DRE, limited internet

Available at all levels nationwide

Score: 7/10

  1. Estonia

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the number one country on the list is the first country to employ the use of over the internet technology. Estonia implemented internet voting tentatively in 2005 before fully implementing the system on a nationwide scale in 2007. Physical polling units with paper ballots are still made available, but roughly one-third of total votes cast are done over the internet.

Systems used: Internet

Available at all levels nationwide

Score: 8/10