Justice Minister Milda Vainiutė underlined during the Cabinet’s meeting that the introduction of online voting would supplement the current voting options.
“This is an additional option, opening up opportunities for various sections of society, including those living abroad or people with disabilities, to participate more actively in political processes and to express their opinion in various elections,” she said.
The bill sets out the basic principles, rules and requirements for online voting. If it is approved by the parliament, the Justice Ministry will draft amendments to individual laws on parliamentary, municipal and presidential elections to allow electronic voting.
The aim is to introduce an online voting information system by July 2019 so that voters could use it during the next parliamentary elections in 2020.
The minister said that it would cost an estimated 2 million euros to develop such a system.
“This is one of our government’s priorities. It would probably help us (…) to legalize dual citizenship by making it possible for a wider range of voters to participate (in a referendum),” she said.
Several previous bills to legalize online voting have failed to pass the parliament.
Supporters of online voting expect the system to boost voter turnout, while critics fear that the poor cyber security situation may make the online voting system an easy target of an attack aimed at changing the election outcome. Questions are also raised regarding anonymity.