Information system authority looks to expand e-voting as continuous service

E-voting at the last-but-one European Parliament elections in May 2014.
E-voting at the last-but-one European Parliament elections in May 2014. Source: (ERR)

The Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) is planning to turn the e-voting system into a continuously-running service, which would facilitate, for example, its use in local government or in referendums, BNS reports.

The RIA's cyber-security yearbook noted that, this year, the authority's role will is due to be to partner the National Electoral Committee, no only in maintaining the current e-voting service, but also in looking at the cyber security of elections more widely.

The RIA is planning to update its the election information system, ie. the application for inputting election results, in time for the 2021 local elections, it is reported.

Tarmo Hanga, the RIA's technology department head, said on Monday taht the new e-voting information system will create a prerequisite for e-voting to become a continuous service that might be used year-round, according to BNS.

Mr Hanga said that as a result, e-voting may be used, for example, by higher education institutions in electing a rector, by local governments for carrying out surveys, or for carrying out referendums.

The use of referendums in Estonia has recently been raised by, for instance, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), which feels such a method might be used for overturning what it sees as unpopular legislation, including the Registered Partnership Act, and/or amending paragraph 27 of the Estonian Constitution to include a clause defining marriage being between a man and a woman. Such a method might also be used in holding a referendum on whether the Estonian president should be directly elected. Currently, the president is elected first in several ballots by the Riigikogu and, if necessary, electoral colleges in the regions.

Uku Särekanno, head of the RIA's cyber security service, added that work is also being done to enable mobile voting. He reasoned that if mobile devices can be used for banking activities, they may also be in elections, according to BNS.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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