Modernizing Voting in a Post-transition Country: The Estonian Experience of Lowering the Voting Age

  • Anu TootsEmail author
  • Tõnu Idnurm
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Young People and Politics book series (PSYPP)


This chapter tracks the process of lowering the voting age for municipal elections in Estonia and looks at the results of the 2017 elections, when 16- to 17-year olds could cast their votes for the first time. The analysis highlights the importance of interaction between youth advocacy and political actors in parliament, as well as getting non-parliamentary institutional actors involved in the next stages. The modernization of voting via internet tools has revealed unexpected results in terms of young voters’ engagement. Most of them preferred conventional voting at polling stations instead of internet voting widely used in Estonia. In contrast, the electoral campaign reached young people mainly via social media and the Internet. Ironically, debates and regulations aiming to secure fair and free elections for youth evaluated the situation in the opposite way, assuming that the campaign would have been based on traditional modes, but voting would have been done online.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia

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