International Standards and ICT Projects in Public Administration: Introducing Electronic Voting in Norway, Estonia and Switzerland Compared

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Nadja Braun Binder Robert Krimmer Gregor Wenda Dirk-Hinnerk Fischer


This research focuses on the interrelationship between international standards and e-voting projects. With the rise of e-government activities, a multitude of new international standards is discussed or adopted in conjunction with such innovative reform steps. In order to gain a perception which role international standards dealing with legal, organizational and technical aspects play in national contexts and whether they are actually implemented, this essay specifically examines standards used in e-voting projects, as this area can be clearly distinguished from other e-government projects. Case studies in Estonia, Norway, and Switzerland show that there is a general interest in international sources and that real international standards are considered to be more important and “binding” than private organizations’ standards or other documents. In all three countries, the Council of Europe Recommendation on e-voting, the only real international standard in this field, played a role in the respective e-voting projects, but did not coin all phases. Once the international standards were endorsed as national regulations, they only played a minor role for the continuation of the projects. However, they are used for orientation and evaluation purposes.

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