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Campaign Against E-Voting Had Opposite Effect - Experts

E-elections. Source: (ERR)

According to communication experts, the criticism on electronic voting sparked a defense reflex and moved people to vote electronically to make a statement.

Speaking on ERR radio on Thursday, media expert Raul Rebane predicted a slightly higher turnout than in 2009 and said that the campaign against electronic voting had the opposite effect and spurred people on to cast their vote online.

Last week, an international team of independent experts identified "serious security vulnerabilities" in Estonia's Internet voting system and recommended its immediate withdrawal. Shortly after the team’s statement, the Center Party, which is a longtime opponent of e-voting, called on various Estonian and EU officials to cancel the vote. The government representatives dismissed the findings as a unproductive and possibly malicious criticism from relatively little-known researchers and the vote went ahead as planned.

“For a large share of young and middle-aged Estonians, e-voting is part of Estonia’s image, identity, DNA. We began to defend something very important, which was under threat for purely political reasons. In any case, we must be grateful to the Center Party and foreign experts for keeping the whole e-world in shape and not allowing it to get lazy,” Rebane said.

Communications specialist Agu Uudelepp said he agreed that many people who consider electronic voting a good thing voted online, but they would not have gone out to vote at a poll station.

Electronic voting ended on May 21 and 11.44 percent of eligible voters (103,151 people) cast their votes electronically.

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