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Notary Bulletin

Building A Taste For eVoting

ESTONIA — As the first country in the world with a fully electronic Notary system, this Baltic republic is pushing digital boundaries yet again by testing a nationwide eVoting network. Estonia recently asked its citizens to cast eBallots for their favorite food. The colorful menu was supposed to encourage people to participate in the new system.

While the “lonely hamburger” is going bun-to-cream with the tiramisu and the local karask scone, the goal of the test was to iron out any problems with the technology before the European parliamentary elections later this month and generate interest in the human contest — which typically has a lackluster response. The “lonely hamburger” is supposed to represent independent voters not linked to a political party.

The country, widely known as eStonia, is among the most wired countries in the world and handles virtually every governmental function from notarizations to tax collection electronically.

Online voters were able to change their votes as many times they wanted during the May 28 to June 3 balloting, but only their final vote will count. If a voter casts a vote at a paper-polling place, the electronic ballot will be nullified. The government plans to implement a system that will allow citizens to vote via their cell phones anywhere in the world.

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