Lithuania ready for e-voting, but Estonia's already onto m-voting

Alas, we Americans remained mired in the debate over voter-verified paper audit trails and moving to all paper elections as more Europeans move to Internet voting and now to voting over mobile telephones. If you extrapolate this out, we will vote out loud and in public in 20 years and the Europeans will vote using text messaging.

Estonia’s ruling Reform Party is preparing an amendment to allow people to vote by mobile telephone. The party presented its ‘m-voting’ proposals Sep. 27 in order to prepare a bill along with its other coalition partners next week. If the partners give the initiative the thumbs up the legislation will be sent to parliament.

The head of the Reformist faction, Keit Pentus, said Estonia has always been at the forefront of information technology innovation. In her words, the use of an ID card linked to a cell phone is no longer fantasy, and m-voting would make involvement in governance more accessible and convenient.

The idea of introducing m-voting was put forward in August by the Reformist deputy speaker of parliament, Kristiina Ojuland, who believes a viable scheme could be in place in time for the 2009 local elections. In Ojuland’s opinion, a mobile phone ID application would enable voters to identify themselves and give a digital signature.