Social and Economic Costs of Digitalization of Democracy: E-Voting in Estonia

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
David DUENAS-CID, Technological University of Tallinn, Estonia
Robert KRIMMER, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Iuliia KRIVONOSOVA, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
The remarkable development of information society in Estonia since 1991 placed this country in a privileged position in terms of digitalization of social life. One of the pioneering technological developments carried out in the country is connected with the creation of a successful system of electronic voting that had become a global reference.

As Krivonosova mentions (I. Krivonosova, “Total cost formula for e-voting implementation”, The International Conference on Electronic Voting E-VOTE-ID 2017, 2017), there is no consensus on the impact of e-voting in the global cost of elections, whether it is reducing the final cost or its impact is not effective. In relation with its impact on the final turnout, there are also not conclusive positions in relation with its effect in the increase or decrease of voters, as Celeste, Thornburg and Lin put in (Celeste, R., Thornburgh, D. i Lin, H. “Asking the right questions about Electronic Voting” The National Academy Press: Washington, 2006), the introduction of new technologies can both attract new voters or create new barriers, real or perceived, in the participation of voters.

With the aim of bringing new elements for the reflection on the debate of social impacts of technology, in this paper we are presenting an innovative approach to the calculation of costs of different types of election (electronic, paper or postal), analyzing the Estonian Municipal Elections (October 2017), and propose a reflection on the impacts of the different electoral channels in the global turnout.