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World's First Cellular Election to Take Place 2011 in Estonia

The first "cellular election" will be Estonia's next parliamentary elections in 2011

The Estonian Riigikogu (Parliament) this week approved a law making Estonia the first country in the world to allow voting in a national election by mobile phone. The first "cellular election" will be Estonia's next parliamentary elections in 2011.

The Estonian Parliament Building in the capital, Tallinn

Raul Kaidro, spokesman for the SK Certification Center, the organization that ensures the reliability and integrity of the electronic infrastructure behind the Estonian ID Card project (with 1 million card holder out of a population of 1.3M), explained to reporters that the system requires voters obtain free, authorized chips for their phones - that being the most secure way to authenticate digital signatures.

Since 2002 an electronic identification card has been mandatory for all citizens in Estonia above the age from 15.

The success of e-voting in local government council elections last year has spurred the authorities to extend the scheme to the country's upcoming national election.

A member of both the European Union and NATO since 2005, Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic states and endured Russian occupation from 1940 till 1991. It is most famous for having been the land where Skype was born and was surprisingly ranked No 8 out of 82 countries in putting the Internet to practical use in a recent World Economic Forum report. (Thanks to Ross Mayfield for that datapoint.)

Estonia also has the highest rate of public Internet access points (PIAPs) per capita in the world.


More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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