[ExI] Estonia Is a ‘Digital Republic’—What That Means and Why It May Be Everyone’s Future

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 17 09:10:31 UTC 2020

"Citizens of Estonia, a small nation in the Baltic region, will perhaps be
particularly perplexed: since 2005, Estonians have been able vote online
from anywhere in the world. Estonians log on with their digital ID
card and vote
as many times <https://e-estonia.com/solutions/e-governance/i-voting/> as
they want during the pre-voting period, with each vote cancelling the last.
This unique technological solution has safeguarded Estonian voters against
fraud, use of force, and other manipulations of remote voting that many
American voters are apprehensive about in the 2020 US election.

Voting online is just the start. Estonia offers the most comprehensive
governmental online services in the world. In the US, it takes an average
taxpayer with no business income eight hours
to file a tax return. In Estonia, it takes just five minutes. In the
UK, billions
of pounds
have been spent on IT, yet the NHS still struggles
to make patient data accessible across different health boards. In Estonia,
despite having multiple private health service providers, doctors can
collate and visualize patient records whenever and wherever necessary, with
consent from patients—a real boon
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/estonia-coronavirus> in the country’s
fight against coronavirus.

Branding itself the first “digital republic” in the world, Estonia has
digitized 99 percent of its public services. And, in an era when trust in
public services is declining
<https://www.edelman.com/research/2017-edelman-trust-barometer> across the
globe, Estonia persistently achieves one of the highest ratings of trust in
in the EU. The Estonian government claims that this digitization of public
services saves more than 1,400 years of working time and 2 percent of its
GDP annually
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