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Supreme Court Rejects Last Voter Complaint

The Supreme Court's Constitutional Review Chamber ruled on March 21 that the petition by student Paavo Pihelgas to invalidate the electronic voting results in the March 6 parliamentary elections lacks substance.

Pihelgas sought nullification of the election result on the grounds that the software used in the electronic voting was flawed and could make it possible for a virus to block a vote without the voter knowing that any interference had occurred. To prove his case, Pihelgas conducted a series of experiments with the participation of several voters who had been informed by him of the nature of the test and had given express consent to participate.

According to the law, the Supreme Court can nullify election results in case a violation of voter rights has been established that had or may have had a significant effect on the election outcome. Therefore the Chamber set out to determine whether a violation of Pihelgas's rights had occurred.

Based on the fact that Pihelgas participated in the test willfully, the Supreme Court did not find that his voter's rights were infringed upon, insofar as he knowingly put himself into the situation where his vote didn't reach the electoral committee's web server.

The Constitutional Review Chamber also noted that since only an established violation can serve as a basis for nullification of the election result, a hypothetical possibility that someone's computer may have been infected with a similar type of virus without that voter's knowledge cannot serve as sufficient cause for nullification.


Erkki Sivonen

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