Estonian municipal council elections finished at 8pm on October 15, 2017.
I’m writing now at 10:37pm Estonian time, as the results have been posted online. I will update this post if there are changes.
UPDATE 2017-10-17: Some information for context
- Eligible voters for Parliamentary elections and eligible voters for Local elections are not the same, so the two types of elections are difficult to compare. Local elections draw from a larger electorate.
- 2013 Local elections – Eligible voters – 1,086,935
- 2015 Parliamentary elections – Eligible – 899,793
- 2017 Local elections – Eligible voters – 1,100,648
Also I believe the 2017 local election is the first one in which 16 and 17 year olds could vote.
- It’s important to be careful whether one is talking about voting as a percentage of total eligible voters, or voting as a percentage of actual voters.
Summary: ONLINE VOTING IS NOT A SOLUTION FOR INCREASING TURNOUT.
There is no Internet voting on election day in Estonia, the online voting system is only available for advance voting.
The total number of Internet votes cast was 186,034 (one hundred eighty-six thousand thirty-four). I don’t like comparing different types of elections as they have different characteristics, but just for the sake of a complete picture, the total number of Internet votes cast in the Parliamentary elections in 2015 was 176,329. So the total increase is 9,705 (nine thousand seven hundred and five). UPDATE 2017-10-17: However note that the local elections draw from a much larger pool of eligible voters. END UPDATE
So while 186k online votes is indeed a record for Estonia, it is a relatively small absolute increase. And I would caution strongly against projecting this result of under 200k online votes to jurisdictions with tens or hundreds of millions of voters.
The total number of votes cast was 367,199 (three hundred sixty-seven thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine), for a total turnout of 53.2%.
UPDATE 2017-10-17: The total number of votes cast was 586,523 (five hundred eight-six thousands five hundreds and twenty-three), for a total turnout of 53.3%.
Turnout DROPPED from the 2013 local elections, which had a turnout of 58%, for a turnout DROP of 4.7%.
So just to make my point super clear: Estonia has had online voting since 2005. After 12 years of offering online voting, they have managed a turnout of just over 50%, and that turnout dropped from the previous local election.
ONLINE VOTING IS NOT A SOLUTION FOR INCREASING TURNOUT.
You can see turnout percentages for this election at https://kov2017.valimised.ee/osavotu-statistika.html and details for past elections at http://vvk.ee/voting-methods-in-estonia/engindex/statistics/
UPDATE 2017-10-17: You can see the total number of eligible voters, the total number of votes cast, and the total number of Internet votes at https://kov2017.valimised.ee/valimistulemus-vald.html END UPDATE
On https://kov2017.valimised.ee/osavotu-statistika.html the turnout for online voting
seems to be is a separate item called E-HÄÄLI but I have to say I don’t really understand the numbers other than total turnout shown in the bottom right and the Internet voting turnout (as a percentage of TOTAL eligible voters) is 16.9%. That is to say, only 16.9% of eligible Estonian voters chose to cast their ballot online.
There were seven days of advance voting (including Internet voting) in total, from October 5 to October 11. You can see an overview of the voting schedule at https://www.valimised.ee/et/kohaliku-omavalitsuse-volikogu-valimised-2017 or in English at https://www.valimised.ee/en/municipal-council-election-2017
July 8, 2016 Estonian Internet voting and turnout myths