“IT Advanced” Estonia Report 1: The only country in the world that can hold digital national elections.

Build Salon Co., Ltd. started preparations for the opening of “Estonia/Tallinn Branch for European Clients” on November 5, 2022.

Estonia is a small country with a population of only 1.32 million and a land area of 45,226㎢ (about the size of Kyushu), but it has always attracted the world’s attention due to its characteristics as an IT advanced country.

In this issue, we will take a closer look at Estonia’s “digital voting for national elections,” which are being held here for the first time in the world.

Advantages of Digital Voting

It is well known that huge amounts of money are spent on elections.

However, a large portion of these costs are “labor costs”.

By voting digitally, we can drastically reduce the cost of personnel expenses for poll watchers and election commissions, as well as the personnel expenses associated with vote counting.

Since these costs are paid for by the taxpayers, it is expected that most citizens would be in favor of digital voting, as long as they are comfortable with the security and procedures. It is inevitable that other countries around the world will adopt digital voting in the future.

When Digital Voting Starts in Estonia/What are the trends in voter turnout?

Estonia has been using electronic voting since 2005.

Considering that the use of the Internet by the general public in developed countries only really took off around 1999-2000, this is a spectacularly radical initiative!

Of course, in the beginning, traditional methods of voting were more popular, with only about 5% of all citizens eligible to vote using electronic voting.

But now, Estonia is the only country in the world where even national elections are being conducted digitally.

More than 46% of the total population used electronic voting in the 2021 elections. This indicates that electronic voting is no longer an uncommon means of voting among the population.

How to vote digitally in Estonia?

We will now look at the actual digital voting procedure in Estonia.

A web page for voting is opened to the public just before the vote.

The citizen logs into the site using his or her ID card or identity card.

If you have an ID card, logging in is smooth and no special equipment is required; if you do not have an ID card and only have an ID card, you must use special equipment to log in to the voting website. This is a bit complicated.

After logging in, it is time to vote. Voting can be done from 9:00 a.m. 10 days prior to the voting day in the form of “advance voting”. And what’s more, you can vote as many times as you like until the cutoff time! Only the result of the last vote will be counted.

Even the most indecisive person can vote with confidence.

What’s the future of digital voting?

While digital voting offers many advantages, it is expected to become even safer and more convenient with the introduction of new technologies in the future.

《 Predicted Digital Voting Technologies 》

・Voting will be possible from mobile devices without the need for a PC.

・Advanced personal authentication, such as facial recognition, will be introduced.

・Electronic identification to prevent hacking will become even more sophisticated.

Estonia, on the Cutting Edge, Draws Attention

What do you think about it?

Estonia is a nation that is pushing forward with DX at a national level at a speed that no other country can quite keep up with. By learning more about digital voting, we hope that we have been able to catch a glimpse of what it looks like.

Build Salon Co., Ltd. will establish a branch office in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, to serve as its base of operations in Europe.

With the experience of being up close and personal with the energy of a state-of-the-art IT nation, we will strive for further development in order to contribute to you!