E-voting in other countries

Many countries have introduced voting machines under the name of e-voting. This means that voting takes place in the controlled environment of a polling place by way of special machines. This also allows the automation of the ballot counting procedure. There are also other means used to count the ballots papers, such as scanning (e.g. in Latvia).

Less experiments have been made with internet-based voting, where any computer that is connected to the internet can be used to vote on. There are even less countries where online voting with binding results is used regularly.

In 2004, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe approved a recommendation on electronic voting standards and adopted a new version of this on 14 June 2017. The recommendation concerns voting machines, ballot paper scanners, digital pens, as well as online voting systems. The recommendation along with the annexed guidelines for the application of the norms explains the conditions that the e-voting systems need to meet in order to ensure the respect for the basic principles of elections. This framework is an excellent starting point for all the countries planning to introduce e-voting.

The respect for other Council of Europe norms for any online voting taking place in environments not controlled by polling places (at home, at work, etc.) is the subject of a report by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), which is a consultative body of the Council of Europe in constitutional questions. The report concludes that online voting does meet the norms in principle, and draws parallels with voting by mail.



The three cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Zürich launched online voting tests in 2001–2005. The development of online voting was a result of the frequency of elections and referendums, widely accessible internet connection (in 2002, 52% of the people had access to the internet), large numbers of voters abroad, etc. The three cantons have different online voting systems.

In 2008, a decision was made on the national level that online voting would also be continued in the future and might be extended to other cantons.

At the 3 March 2013 referendum, 11 cantons used online voting. 9 cantons allowed online voting for voters residing outside Switzerland. The cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel also allowed voters residing on their territories to vote online.

In 2019, online voting was used in the cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel, but e-voting was stopped because of a security error discovered in the e-voting system developed by Swiss Post.

Swiss Post then developed a new e-voting system which successfully passed all the tests, and in March 2023 the Federal Council approved the introduction of the system. At the 22 October 2023 elections of the Federal Council, e-voting was tested in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen, and Thurgau, and e-voting will be continued in the future.



Since 2012, voters who reside outside of France have the option of voting online at presidential elections. The total number of such voters is 1.4 million.



Online voting is widely used at municipal elections in the provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia. The choice of modes of voting is up to the local government. In Nova Scotia in 2016, 20 local government units were using online voting. At the 2018 municipal elections of Ontario, 194 local governments our of 444 used online voting and it was the only way to vote in 80 local government units.

Online voting has not been used at provincial elections, with the exception of the election reform referendum on Prince Edward Island in 2016.

The Canadian government has affirmed in 2017 that there are no plans to introduce online voting at national elections, and this remains the case in 2024.



In Australia, e-voting has been used at the local elections in New South Wales, most recently in 2021.



In Norway, online voting was used for the first time in ten local governments at the 2011 local elections. At the 2013 parliamentary elections, online voting was possible in 12 local governments. After this, the project was closed.


E-voting in Norway