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EKRE forms e-voting transparency support group in Riigikogu

E-voting in Estonia. Even a card reader is not essential - voters can authenticate themselves using mobile ID.
E-voting in Estonia. Even a card reader is not essential - voters can authenticate themselves using mobile ID. Source: Flickr

Members of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) formed a Riigikogu support group on Tuesday which has the aim of make e-voting transparent. One member of Isamaa is also a member of the committee.

The group said in a statement it wants to make the e-voting system more secure and transparent and to support initiatives to supplement and amend existing legislation.

Former minister of IT and foreign trade Kert Kingo is chairman of the committee.

"Electronic voting must become trustworthy, the process of e-voting must be transparent and traceable, and laws must be harmonized with the process of voting by paper," Kingo explained the goals of the support group.

Members of the committee are from the following parties:

EKRE: Uno Kaskpeit , Riho Breivel , Merry Aart , Leo Kunnas , Urmas Rejelmann , Peeter Ernits , Jaak Valge, Kai Rimmel, Kalle Grünthal, Helle-Moonika Helme, Ruuben Kaalep, Tiit Kala, Alar Laneman, Paul Puustusmaa, Urmas Espenberg, Henn Põlluaas, Anti Poolamets and Siim Pohlak.

Isamaa: Tarmo Kruusimäe.

Parliamentary groups formed in the Riigikogu help members of the Riigikogu to communicate with parliaments of other countries, implement foreign policy and introduce Estonia to the rest of the world. Through support groups, members and factions of the Riigikogu can draw attention to a specific topic and support and defend the interests of a narrower sphere of life.

Last year, Kingo convened a panel of experts to look into e-voting shortly after taking office.

Head of the working group Raul Rikk said in August the work group said more resources should be made available so independent auditors can check the processes of e-voting. He said this would increase their credibility in Estonia and around the world.

The group also proposed the number of people involved in conducting and supervising elections should increase and to raise the number of independent observers at election counts.

Rikk said this could be done, for example, by making it obligatory for a representative from each political party to attend the election counts.

These changes would help to increase the number of people in society who have received training in the electoral process and understand the structure of the system, Rikk said.

In total, 25 suggestions were made by the group.

When he took office in November after Kingo resigned, IT expert Kaimar Karu, when asked how secure e-elections were, said: "I'm unable to say at the moment. Various working groups have previously scrutinized them, and thus far not one reason has been found to stop holding e-elections. At the same time, the matter is still unresolved... [to] some Estonian citizens."

He said more should be done to explain the complex system to members of the public.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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