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Head of State Electoral Office Arne Koitmäe on the reliability and transparency of i-voting

09.11.2020

  • Voter’s participation in elections is not monitored

In Estonia, the list of voters is based on the data in the Population Register. The list of voters is compiled separately for every election. The Population Register does not register whether a voter has previously voted at elections or not. This is why there is no such personalised information available on voters. No separate summary is made about the participation of a voter in elections.

  • It is impossible to cast an i-vote on behalf of someone else

When voting electronically, the voter first identifies themselves and then confirms their vote with a digital signature. For this purpose, the voter uses their individual ID-card, mobile-ID, or digital identity document. This makes it impossible to add electronic votes during the i-voting.

Adding votes is also not possible after the end of the i-voting, because i-votes are registered very carefully. Every cast i-vote is marked with a time stamp by a third party, i.e. the registration service provider. So far, the registration service provider has been SK ID Solutions AS. After the end of the i-voting, the collection service housing provider signs the electronic ballot box with its signature.

Before counting the i-votes, these are checked against the data from the registration service provider. This ensures that the integrity of the i-ballot box is intact and no votes have been added or removed. The list of i-voters is also checked against the list of voters.

  • No votes can be added during counting

Only the i-votes that are in the e-ballot box by the end of the voting are counted. The ballot box has been signed by the collector and the votes inside have been registered by a third party, i.e. the registration service provider.

The i-voting system issues a certificate on the correctness of the vote counting. The certificate allows checking that every counted vote corresponds to an encrypted vote. The i-voting results are checked by an auditor via an audit application. At the last elections, the auditing service provider was KPMG. Such an application can be written and the results can be verified by a third party, e.g. observers or researchers.

  • Counting i-votes is a transparent and extremely verifiable event that has never failed

Counting i-votes is a public event. Observers are welcome to attend. All work processes are also checked by auditors. Counting i-votes has always taken place within the planned schedule and it has never failed. The result of counting i-votes is public and accessible on the elections web page.

  • I-voting system is public

The i-voting documentation and system source code are public information. All the i-voting processes are verifiable, incl. the integrity of the e-ballot box. Process and data audit are carried out during i-voting. Observers can observe the organisation of i-voting, and can take part in a relevant training programme where they are taken through the i-voting process step by step.