Election Universe

Electronic voting and Lithuania’s Presidential elections

Electronic voting and Lithuania’s Presidential elections
May 02 2014, 15:51

Lithuania presidential elections


Lithuania’s Presidential elections will take place on 11 May 2014. There were initially 12 candidates but only seven received the required 20,000 supporting signatures.

According to Wikipedia opinion polls show Dalia Grybauskaitė, the country’s current President, as the favourite.

She was elected in Lithuania’s last Presidential[H1]  elections, in 2009, where 1,393,278 people voted, a turnout of 51%, slightly down on the country average of 53.61%, says ElectionGuide

17,640 votes were invalid, compared to the winning margin of 787,742 (68.21% of the vote).

Electoral system

The popular vote (absolute majority) will determine the President for the next five years. The President elects a Prime Minister.

If no candidate receives an absolute majority of votes in the 11 May first round, a second round of elections will be held on 25 May, alongside elections for the European Parliament.

Electronic voting in Lithuania

Google is full of chatter about e-voting in Lithuania, where e-voting means internet voting as opposed to automated or electronic voting using machines that produce a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT). The Elections Canada website seems to suggest that Lithuania considered internet voting but decided against its implementation because of political hurdles.

Lithuania is separated by just one country (Latvia) from Estonia, which is famously the world’s leading internet voting pioneer 

It’s interesting to note that while being faster and cheaper, internet voting hasn’t been seen to increase voter turnout, as Meelis Kitsing, from the Estonian Business School, has studied. Read his article The Estonian experience shows that while online voting is faster and cheaper, it hasn’t increased turnout

Increasing voter turnout

So what does increase voter turnout? Well a friendly and flexible and fully automated registration system would certainly help. And while technology should not be seen as a cure-all, there are many ways it can encourage people to vote.


The internet offers fantastic opportunities for voter education and registration.

Voting machines can increase the speed and accuracy of both voting and counting. Technology can simplify authentication and can also offer paper trails for auditing later (whilst retaining the absolute secrecy of the vote). Technology also makes it easier for disabled people to vote independently.

We’ve offered evidence to the UK parliament that suggests that, as far as technology is concerned, the greatest demand is for precinct-based touchscreen voting machines, rather than a fully internet-based system.

Read more about Lithuania on the European Parliament 2014 website