Lynn Landes 
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Vote Counting Methods Around-the-world  (this is not a completely accurate list - edits are in red)

Source: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) as of June 2004 /

Latest IDEA link as of 9/22/08:  - Haven't updated info below...

 (Editor's note: The publication of this information is not an endorsement of this organization)

"How do different countries count their votes in national elections? There are two main ways of counting votes: either manually or with the help of technology. Some countries count the votes manually at the polling station whereby polling officials count the votes cast physically by hand. Other countries choose to use different types of technology when counting, namely vote counting machines. However, it is not just a question of the simple presence or absence of vote counting machines in a country, as a combination of the two may be used. Some countries practice manual counting in most polling stations or regions but have experimented by using vote counting machines in elections during recent years. Please keep in mind that this list contains only a limited number of countries from where this information has been available."

"Manual Counting and/or experimenting with technology (It is possible that some countries will count their ballot papers by hand at first, but then use computerized systems to aggregate the results. Particularly in proportional or alternative systems, computers can be used to produce faster and more accurate distributions of preferences or strikings of quota.)"

  1. Albania

  2. Andorra

  3. Antigua & Barbuda

  4. Australia (might try using vote counting machines during upcoming elections but presently by hand)

  5. Austria

  6. Algeria

  7. Bahamas

  8. Belarus

  9. Botswana

  10. Canada

  11. Cape Verde

  12. Central African Republic

  13. Chad

  14. Congo-Brazzaville

  15. Costa Rica

  16. C˘te d'Ivoire

  17. Cyprus

  18. Denmark

  19. Egypt

  20. Estonia

  21. Fiji

  22. Finland

  23. France

  24. Gabon

  25. Germany

  26. Greece

  27. Guinea-Bissau

  28. Ireland

  29. Italy (experimented with electronic voting, but rejected it)

  30. Kenya

  31. Kiribati

  32. Korea To Introduce Online Voting in 2008 They will be able to use their personal computers & mobile phones

  33. Latvia

  34. Liechtenstein

  35. Lithuania

  36. Luxembourg

  37. Macedonia

  38. Malawi

  39. Malaysia

  40. Malta

  41. Monaco

  42. Mongolia

  43. Mozambique

  44. Nauru

  45. Norway is partly experimenting with vote counting machines
  46. Philippines

  47. Portugal (A pilot experiment with touch screens in Dec 1997 which went well. The technology was too expensive though)

  48. Russia

  49. Samoa

  50. Senegal

  51. Slovakia

  52. Solomon Islands

  53. South Africa

  54. Spain

  55. Sri Lanka

  56. Sweden

  57. Tanzania

  58. Tuvalu

  59. Uganda

  60. UK (decentralized) some districts have now started to experiment with vote counting machines, but generally manual counting.
  61. Uruguay

  62. Vanuatu (might try using vote counting machines during upcoming elections but presently by hand)

  63. Zimbabwe

Countries that use technology - partly

  1. The United States (99.4% machines)
  2. Turkey (Vote counting machines mainly)
  3. Palau (use tabulating machines at most elections)
  4. The Netherlands (Approximately 50% are counted by vote counting machines)
  5. Belgium (Approximately 50% votes are counted by vote counting machines)
  6. India (Vote counting machines are used in about 20% of the districts)
  7. Brazil (partly by hand, partly by machines)
  8. Bosnia & Herzegovina (some votes such as "out of country-votes" and absentee votes can be counted by scanners)
  9. Switzerland first count manually and then the votes are counted by a machine
  10. Canada has at municipal level started using some technology for voting and counting in some cities (All federal elections are on paper.  Canada has almost no electronic equipment in use.  Although, Barrie, Ontario has Diebold touchscreen machines)

Germany was in this column, but I believe that this listing is wrong I believe.

Countries that use technology - only

Source: The information above has been collected through interviews and/or short questionnaires from the Electoral Management Bodies in the different countries.

Read more about vote counting methods and practices at the website of the Administration and Cost of Elections Project. There you can also find some examples and case studies on vote counting in different countries.


International IDEA
The Voter Turnout Project / Ms Maria Gratschew
Phone: +46 8 698 37 62
Fax: +46 8 20 24 22
E-mail: or

or the Information Division:
Phone: +46 8 698 37 00