Lithuania’s Government has moved a step toward closure in introducing electronic voting in Lithuania’s elections. On 7 June the Government approved the Transport and Communication Ministry’s suggestion to make e-voting available in electoral districts only. The proposal, however, does not suggest introducing e-voting from home. The is scheduled to be forwarded to the Parliament for approval.
The Minister of Transport and Communication Eligijus Masiulis of the Liberal Movement was quoted by Baltic News Service, “It frequently happens that voters find themselves registered with an electoral district were they have no means of getting to on election day because they live elsewhere. If this technology were applied, these people could vote in any electoral district regardless of which one they are registered with,” Masiulis said.
The Minister also noted that if the Parliament approves the bid it is almost certain that this version of e-voting would be applied at the municipality elections planned for spring 2011. He also expressed hope that if the experiment would prove successful in 2011, the Parliamentary elections in 2012 might already witness the Estonian e-voting version.
The political parties that heavily rely on the elder (Conservative party) and on less educated voters (Order and Justice, Labour) are sceptical about this proposal. The parties are also not curtain about the political affiliations of the large Lithuanian émigré community that would get access to the Parliamentary elections if e-voting is introduced. There is an estimate that after the Independence in 1990, 11 March some 400 to 500 thousands Lithuanian’s have emigrated to the West. The majority of them still hold Lithuanian passports and are eligible to vote. However, the sceptics vocally voice their concern mainly on the problems of vote buying during the elections.