Skip to main content

How Much Does an e-Vote Cost? Cost Comparison per Vote in Multichannel Elections in Estonia

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNSC,volume 11143)

Abstract

We are presenting the results of the CoDE project in this paper, where we investigate the costs per vote of different voting channels in Estonian Local Elections (2017). The elections analyzed involve different processes for casting a vote: Early Voting at County Centers, Advance Voting at County Centers, Advance Voting at Ordinary Voting District Committees, Electronic Voting, Election Day Voting, and Home Voting. Our analysis shows how the administrative costs per e-vote (an electronic vote) are half the price of the second cheapest option (Election Day Voting), representing the most cost-efficient way of organizing elections, given the conditions of this Case Study. Otherwise, different forms of convenience voting have much higher costs, giving us subjects for further discussion on how to organize multichannel elections.

Keywords

  • Multi-channel elections
  • Calculation of costs
  • TDABC
  • BPR

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-00419-4_8
  • Chapter length: 15 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-00419-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.

Notes

  1. 1.

    In traditional TD ABC the time per item of output is estimated. However, as is the case with elections, we know precisely how much time is spent on every activity, we receive time per item of output in the manner described above.

References

  1. Alvarez, M.R., et al.: Internet voting in comparative perspective: the case of Estonia. PS Polit. Sci. Polit. 42(3), 497–505 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. De Araújo, J.: Improving public service delivery: the crossroads between NPM and traditional bureaucracy. Public Adm. 79(4), 915–932 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Attaran, M.: Exploring the relationship between information technology and business process reengineering. Inf. Manag. 41(5), 585–596 (2004)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Barrat Esteve, J., et al.: Votacions electròniques: una eina de gestió pública per a la millora de la qualitat democràtica i la participació política. Escola d’Administració Pública de Catalunya, Barcelona (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bekkers, V.J.J.M., Zouridis, S.: Electronic service delivery in public administration: some trends and issues. Int. Rev. Adm. Sci. 65(2), 183–195 (1999)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Blais, A., Rubenson, D.: The source of turnout decline: new values or new contexts? Comp. Polit. Stud. 46(1), 95–117 (2013)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Buckley, J.: E-service quality and the public sector. Manag. Serv. Qual. 13(6), 453–462 (2003)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Carter, L., Bélanger, F.: The utilization of e-government services: citizen trust, innovation and acceptance factors. Inf. Syst. J. 15(1), 5–25 (2005)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Cavanagh, T.: Changes in American voter turnout 1967–1976. Polit. Sci. Q. 96(1), 53–65 (1981)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Chowdhury, A.: Cost of voting: estimating the impact of online voting on public finances. The Institute for Digital Democracy, London (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Clark, A.A.: The cost of elections: money well spent? Polit. Insight 5(3), 16–19 (2014)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  12. Codagnone, C.: Measuring e-government: reflections from eGEP measurement framework experience. Eur. Rev. Polit. Technol. 4, 89–106 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Coleman, S.: Elections in the 21st century: from paper ballot to e-voting. Report by the Independent Commission on Alternative Voting Methods. Electoral Reform Society, London (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Colomer, J.M.: Benefits and costs of voting. Elect. Stud. 10(4), 313–325 (1991)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Kaplan, R.S., Cooper, R.: Activity-based systems: measuring the costs of resource usage, pp. 1–13. Accounting Horizons, September 1992

    Google Scholar 

  16. Downs, A.: An economic theory of political action in a democracy. J. Polit. Econ. 65(2), 135–150 (1957)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  17. Ernsdorff, M., Berbec, A.: Estonia: the short road to e-government and e-democracy. In: Nixon, P., Koutrakou, V. (eds.) E-Government in Europe: Re-booting the State, pp. 228–241. Routledge, New York (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  18. Ernst & Ernst: Election administration Volume III: Costing Elections. Clearinghouse on Election Administration, Washington (1979)

    Google Scholar 

  19. Grabenwarter, C.: Report on the compatibility of remote voting and electronic voting with the standards of the Council of Europe. Council of Europe, Strasbourg (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  20. Gronke, P., et al.: Convenience voting. Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 11(1), 437–455 (2008)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  21. Grover, V., et al.: The implementation of business process reengineering. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 12(1), 109–144 (1995)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  22. Harada, M., Smith, D.M.: You have to pay to play: candidate and party responses to the high cost of elections in Japan. Elect. Stud. 36, 51–64 (2014)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  23. Haspel, M., Gibbs Knotts, H.: Location, location, location: Precinct placement and the costs of voting. J. Polit. 67(2), 560–573 (2005)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  24. Heeks, R.: Understanding e-Governance for Development. i-Government Working Paper Series, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 1–27 (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  25. James, T.S., Jervier, T.: The cost of elections: the effects of public sector austerity on electoral integrity and voter engagement. Public Money Manag. 37(7), 461–468 (2017)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  26. Johnston, R., Pattie, C.: How much does a vote cost? Incumbency and the impact of campaign spending at English general elections. J. Elections Public Opin. Parties 18(2), 129–152 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  27. Kalvet, T.: Innovation: a factor explaining e-government success in Estonia. Electron. Gov. Int. J. 9(2), 142–157 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  28. Kalvet, T.: Management of technology: the case of e-voting in Estonia. In: 2009 International Conference on Computer Technology and Development, ICCTD 2009, pp. 512–515 (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  29. Kaplan, R.S., Anderson, S.R.: Time-driven activity-based costing: a simpler and more powerful path to higher profits, vol. 82, p. 266. Harvard Business School Press Books, Boston (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  30. Kassen, M.: Open data and e-government – related or competing ecosystems: a paradox of open government and promise of civic engagement in Estonia. Inf. Technol. Dev. 1–27 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  31. Kersting, N., Baldersheim, H.: Electronic Voting and Democracy. Palgrave - MacMillan, New York (2004)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  32. Kitsing, M.: Success without strategy: e-government development in Estonia. Policy Internet 3(1), 1–21 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  33. Kont, K.-R.: What do acquisition activities really cost? A case study in Estonian university libraries. Libr. Manag. 36(6/7), 511–534 (2015)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  34. Krimmer, R., Triessnig, S., Volkamer, M.: The development of remote e-voting around the world: a review of roads and directions. In: Alkassar, A., Volkamer, M. (eds.) Vote-ID 2007. LNCS, vol. 4896, pp. 1–15. Springer, Heidelberg (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-77493-8_1

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  35. Krimmer, R., Wendt, F.: Costs of Electronic Voting: An Overview. E-Voting.cc, Vienna (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  36. Layne, K., Lee, J.: Developing fully functional E-government: a four stage model. Gov. Inf. Q. 18(2), 122–136 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  37. Lijphart, A.: Unequal participation: democracy’s unresolved dilemma. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 91(1), 1–14 (1997)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  38. López-Pintor, R., Fisher, J.: Getting to the Core. A Global Survey on the Cost of Registration and Elections. United Nations Development Programme, New York (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  39. López-Pintor, R., Gratschew, M.: Voter Turnout Since 1945: A Global Report. IDEA Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Stockholm (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  40. Maaten, E., Hall, T.: Improving the transparency of remote e-voting: the Estonian experience. In: Krimmer, R., Grimm, R. (eds.) 3rd International Conference on Electronic Voting 2008, pp. 31–45. Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bregenz (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  41. Margetts, H., Naumann, A.: Government as a Platform: What can Estonia Show the World? Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  42. McLuhan, M.: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. MIT Press, Cambridge (1964)

    Google Scholar 

  43. Anderson, S., Young, S.: Implementing Management Innovations, Lessons Learned from Activity Based Costing in the US Automobile Industry. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  44. Montjoy, R.S.: The changing nature … and costs … of election administration. Public Adm. Rev. 70(6), 867–875 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  45. Moon, M.J.: The evolution of e-government among municipalities: rhetoric or reality? Public Adm. Rev. 62(4), 424–433 (2002)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  46. Niemi, R.G.: Costs of voting and nonvoting. Public Choice 27(1), 115–119 (1976)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  47. Petithomme, M.: Second-order elections, but also ‘low-cost’ campaigns? National parties and campaign spending in European elections: a comparative analysis. Perspect. Eur. Polit. Soc. 13(2), 149–168 (2012)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  48. Salisbury, R.: Research on political participation. Am. J. Pol. Sci. 19(2), 323–341 (1975)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  49. Springall, D., et al.: Security analysis of the Estonian internet voting system. In: Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security - CCS 2014, pp. 703–715. ACM Press, New York (2014)

    Google Scholar 

  50. Szopiński, T., Staniewski, M.W.: Manifestations of e-government usage in post-communist European countries. Internet Res. 27(2), 199–210 (2017)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  51. Toots, M., Kalvet, T., Krimmer, R.: Success in eVoting – success in eDemocracy? The Estonian paradox. In: Tambouris, E., et al. (eds.) ePart 2016. LNCS, vol. 9821, pp. 55–66. Springer, Cham (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-45074-2_5

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  52. Vassil, K., et al.: The diffusion of internet voting. Usage patterns of internet voting in Estonia between 2005 and 2015. Gov. Inf. Q. 33(3), 453–459 (2016)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  53. Vassil, K., Weber, T.: A bottleneck model of e-voting: why technology fails to boost turnout. New Media Soc. 13(8), 1336–1354 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  54. Vinkel, P., Krimmer, R.: The how and why to internet voting an attempt to explain E-Stonia. In: Krimmer, R., et al. (eds.) E-Vote-ID 2016. LNCS, vol. 10141, pp. 178–191. Springer, Cham (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52240-1_11

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  55. VVAA: Information and Communication Technologies for the Public Service: A Small States Focus. Commonwealth Secretariat, London (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  56. Webster, F.: Theories of the Information Society. Routledge, New York (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  57. Wilks-Heeg, S.: Treating voters as an afterthought? The legacies of a decade of electoral modernisation in the United Kingdom. Polit. Q. 80(1), 101–110 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  58. Xenakis, A., Macintosh, A.: A generic re-engineering methodology for the organized redesign of the electoral process to an e-electoral process. In: Krimmer, R. (ed.) 2nd International Workshop on Electronic Voting, EVOTE 2006, pp. 119–130. Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bregenz (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  59. Xenakis, A., Macintosh, A.: Levels of difficulty in introducing e-voting. In: Traunmüller, R. (ed.) EGOV 2004. LNCS, vol. 3183, pp. 116–121. Springer, Heidelberg (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-30078-6_20

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  60. Xenakis, A., Macintosh, A.: Procedural security analysis of electronic voting. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Electronic Commerce, pp. 541–546. ACM, New York (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  61. Yildiz, M.: E-government research: reviewing the literature, limitations, and ways forward. Gov. Inf. Q. 24(3), 646–665 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  62. Council of Europe: 62. Code of Good Practices in Electoral Matters: Guidelines and Explanatory Report. CoE, Venice (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  63. World Bank: EU-8: Administrative Capacity in the New Member States: The Limits of Innovation? Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit, Washington (2006)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgment

We extend sincere thanks to Breck Shuyler who was assisting us with modelling of BMPNs and on-site observation during the electoral process. This article is based upon work supported by the Estonian Research Council grant (PUT 1361 “Internet Voting as Additional Channel for Legally Binding Elections: Challenges to Voting Processes Re-engineering”, 2017–2020).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David Duenas-Cid .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Krimmer, R., Duenas-Cid, D., Krivonosova, I., Vinkel, P., Koitmae, A. (2018). How Much Does an e-Vote Cost? Cost Comparison per Vote in Multichannel Elections in Estonia. In: , et al. Electronic Voting. E-Vote-ID 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11143. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00419-4_8

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00419-4_8

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-00418-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-00419-4

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)