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What is an “online election” anyway?

18. May 2010 – 11:07 by John Heaven (TuTech Innovation GmbH)

Photo by pindec on Flickr

On this blog, politik-digital recently concluded that the UK election wasn’t an online election, based on the commentary of several UK newspapers.

Europe has seen a few elections recently — for example the Hungarian election, the German general election last year and the state election in Nordrhein-Westfalen — and no-one seems to have claimed the first European “online election”. In fact, I get the feeling it would be reputational suicide to say that an online election had occurred — much better to play safe and say it didn’t happen!

But has anybody really defined what an “online election” is? Is it the same as an online election campaign? Is it the same as online fundraising? Does it require the election result to be different from what would have been expected? Is it enough for people to chatter about politics on Facebook?

Before jumping to conclusions either way, perhaps we should define an “online election” more closely and ask ourselves how we would know that one has occurred.



  1. 2 Responses to “What is an “online election” anyway?”

  2. By Richard on May 19, 2010

    Hi, some interesting questions… before the UK campaign started, I wrote this article about whether or not it might be an ‘internet election’.

    I’m not sure if it covers all the questions you posed, but it was my first go at considering the issues!

  3. By John Heaven (TuTech Innovation GmbH) on May 19, 2010

    Hi Richard,

    Yes, your article does get closer than mine to answering these questions so thanks for the link!

    I noticed in your comments thread that there was some mention of eVoting. As it happens, there’s an interview with Robert Krimmer, Director of E-Voting.cc on the top of the blog (at time of writing).

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