Skip to main content

Online voting: dream or reality in Belgium?

Young people pave the way in Flanders…

According to a recent GFK survey conducted by itsmea large majority (70%) of Belgian voters would welcome the opportunity to fulfil their voting obligation online.

On a both federal and regional level – and even in local council areas – there are increasing numbers of citizen participation projects underway. Votes are cast either “in person” or electronically. However, to make remote digital voting possible in the context of the federal elections, the electoral legislation would need to be reviewed.

itsme: the ideal solution for enabling online voting 

The digital identity itsme is extremely secure and meets all EU standards on security and privacy. An itsmeaccount is linked to a single individual person whose identity is confirmed when the itsme account is created by scanning the details from the person’s electronic identity card or a bankcard. Better than that, the app only works based on the successful combination of your smartphone, the itsme app and your personal 5-digit itsme code (or your digital fingerprint). This means that only the person who created the account can cast a vote. All this makes itsme the ideal solution for making online voting possible. Other countries, such as Estonia, already use similar solutions to make remote voting possible.

The Flemish youth is opting for online voting with itsme

In Flanders, the Flemish Youth Council, with their elections in November 2020, is already paving the way for remote voting. The Council is the official advisory body for the Flemish Government on all subjects that affect children, young people and their organisations in Flanders. It ensures that the voices of children and young adults are heard by policymakers, while also defending the interests of youth work organisations in Flanders and Europe.

The Council holds fresh elections every three years, enabling children and young people aged between 12 and 30 to choose new representatives. These elections will be held this year from the 9th until the 22nd of November. 

In the past, the eID reader was the only method of voting, which is not always easy for youngsters. Either they don’t know the PIN for their eID or they don’t have a card reader or they consider the use of a card reader as too much of a threshold and therefore abandon the procedure. But from now on, young adults aged 18 and over, will be able to vote using itsme. By making this possible, the Flemish Youth Council hopes to lower the threshold and provide young people over the age of 18 with more opportunities to vote.

In collaboration with Vlaamse Jeugdraad.

[1] Survey conducted by GFK on behalf of Belgian Mobile ID, between 20th May and 2nd June 2020, across a representative sample (region, gender, age, social category) of 1,015 individuals who own a smartphone.