Politicians asked to follow fair e-voting principles in local elections

Liia Hänni casting her vote via the Internet.
Liia Hänni casting her vote via the Internet. Source: e-GA

Experts are asking political parties to follow the principles of fair e-voting in the upcoming election. This means respecting the right of voters to vote freely online, without direct political pressure, and to recognize the results of the vote when all electoral procedures have legally taken place.

EKRE, the Eesti 200, Isamaa, Centre, Reform Party, the Estonian Greens, and the Social Democratic Party have already agreed to the principles.

The principles were created by the non-profit foundation e-Governance Academy, which advises governments on implemented e-governance.   

Liia Hänni, senior expert of the e-Governance Academy, the principles of e-voting help voters make their decision freely and without interference.

"By signing the principles, the parties have promised to explain the organisation of e-voting impartially and confirmed that they will not question the results of e-voting for political reasons," she said.

Hänni emphasised that voters must also behave responsibly when e-voting and must not transfer their digital identity to another person.

Arne Koitmäe, head of the State Electoral Office, said the technical solution and organization of e-voting is constantly improved to ensure its security and transparency.

"The e-voting results and key activities are mathematically verifiable, and this data is verified each time by independent auditors. The preparation procedures of i-voting, as well as the counting of votes, can be observed by anyone interested, and it is possible to undergo training for that before each election," he said.

The principles of fair i-voting were born on the initiative of the e-Governance Academy in cooperation with political parties in 2015, when i-voting took place for the first time.

The principles of i-voting can be found on the website: https://www.valimised.ee/en/node/1623

E-voting at the 2021 local elections

Electronic voting will begin on Monday, October 11 at 9 a.m. and end on Saturday, October 16 at 8 p.m.

The voter application, which can be downloaded to your computer, will be published on the Election Commission's website before the start of e-voting.

E-voting requires a secure computer with an internet connection, an ID card with valid certificates, and a card reader or mobile ID.

If necessary, a voter can change their choice by e-voting or with a paper ballot at the polling station until Saturday evening.

From 2021, voters will also be able to change their e-vote by voting on a ballot paper on Election Day (Sunday).

If the voter has participated in the elections both electronically and by paper ballot, only the choice made at the polling station will be taken into account.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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