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Electoral committee: Online voting in October elections still on

The National Electoral Committee, which convened on Wednesday following reports this week of a potential security risk that could affect 750,000 national ID cards in Estonia, decided that the risk was not great enough to warrant denying voters the opportunity to vote online in the upcoming local elections.

The committee heard expert threat assessments from the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA), after which each committee member had the opportunity to share their opinion on the matter.

The committee members were unanimous in their belief that there was no reason to cancel e-voting for the local elections in October, as there were no facts to support it not being secure.

"Electronic voting will take place in accordance with the law," conluded committee chairman Meelis Eerik, making the decision final.

Last Thursday, Estonia's Information System Authority (RIA) was informed by an international group of researchers that a potential security risk had been detected affecting all national ID cards issued in Estonia after October 2014.

Estonian experts since determined that the potential risk does indeed exist, affecting 750,000 currently valid ID cards issued after Oct. 17, 2014.

"According to Estonian experts' current assessments, the security risk exists and we will continue testing the researchers' claims," said RIA director general Taimar Peterkop on Tuesday. "We have already worked out initial solutions for risk mitigation and are doing everything we can to ensure that the security of ID cards remains guaranteed."

The RIA confirmed that no cases of identity theft had been reported. "Based on current information, the given security risk has not been realized and nobody's digital identity has been abused with its help," Peterkop said.

Early and online voting in this fall's local government council elections is scheduled to begin on Oct. 5; Election Day is Oct. 15.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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