Tag: e-valimised

Estonian municipal council elections 2017 – Kohalikud valimised 2017

Estonian municipal council elections finished at 8pm on October 15, 2017.

I’m writing now at 10:37pm Estonian time, as the results have been posted online.  I will update this post if there are changes.

UPDATE 2017-10-17:  Some information for context

  • Eligible voters for Parliamentary elections and eligible voters for Local elections are not the same, so the two types of elections are difficult to compare.  Local elections draw from a larger electorate.
    • 2013 Local elections – Eligible voters – 1,086,935
    • 2015 Parliamentary elections – Eligible – 899,793
    • 2017 Local elections – Eligible voters – 1,100,648
      Also I believe the 2017 local election is the first one in which 16 and 17 year olds could vote.
  • It’s important to be careful whether one is talking about voting as a percentage of total eligible voters, or voting as a percentage of actual voters.

END UPDATE

Summary: ONLINE VOTING IS NOT A SOLUTION FOR INCREASING TURNOUT.

There is no Internet voting on election day in Estonia, the online voting system is only available for advance voting.

The total number of Internet votes cast was 186,034 (one hundred eighty-six thousand thirty-four).  I don’t like comparing different types of elections as they have different characteristics, but just for the sake of a complete picture, the total number of Internet votes cast in the Parliamentary elections in 2015 was 176,329.  So the total increase is 9,705 (nine thousand seven hundred and five).  UPDATE 2017-10-17: However note that the local elections draw from a much larger pool of eligible voters.  END UPDATE

So while 186k online votes is indeed a record for Estonia, it is a relatively small absolute increase.  And I would caution strongly against projecting this result of under 200k online votes to jurisdictions with tens or hundreds of millions of voters.

The total number of votes cast was 367,199 (three hundred sixty-seven thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine), for a total turnout of 53.2%.

UPDATE 2017-10-17: The total number of votes cast was 586,523 (five hundred eight-six thousands five hundreds and twenty-three), for a total turnout of 53.3%.

Turnout DROPPED from the 2013 local elections, which had a turnout of 58%, for a turnout DROP of 4.7%.

So just to make my point super clear: Estonia has had online voting since 2005. After 12 years of offering online voting, they have managed a turnout of just over 50%, and that turnout dropped from the previous local election.
ONLINE VOTING IS NOT A SOLUTION FOR INCREASING TURNOUT.

You can see turnout percentages for this election at https://kov2017.valimised.ee/osavotu-statistika.html and details for past elections at http://vvk.ee/voting-methods-in-estonia/engindex/statistics/

UPDATE 2017-10-17: You can see the total number of eligible voters, the total number of votes cast, and the total number of Internet votes at https://kov2017.valimised.ee/valimistulemus-vald.html  END UPDATE

On https://kov2017.valimised.ee/osavotu-statistika.html the turnout for online voting seems to be is a separate item called E-HÄÄLI but I have to say I don’t really understand the numbers other than total turnout shown in the bottom right and the Internet voting turnout (as a percentage of TOTAL eligible voters) is 16.9%.  That is to say, only 16.9% of eligible Estonian voters chose to cast their ballot online.

There were seven days of advance voting (including Internet voting) in total, from October 5 to October 11.  You can see an overview of the voting schedule at https://www.valimised.ee/et/kohaliku-omavalitsuse-volikogu-valimised-2017 or in English at https://www.valimised.ee/en/municipal-council-election-2017

Previously:
July 8, 2016 Estonian Internet voting and turnout myths

Estonian ID card vulnerability and upcoming election

On September 5, 2017 the Estonian Information Systems Authority – Riigi Infosüsteemi Ametit (RIA) reported that researchers have found a vulnerability in the Estonian digital ID card:

Possible Security Vulnerability Detected in the Estonian ID-card Chip

This is a serious issue in general, as the card is at the heart of citizen digital interactions with the government, but has particular implications for Internet voting, as the ID card is key to the functioning of the voting system, enabling amongst other features the unique Estonian ability to vote multiple times with only the last vote counting (including choosing to vote in person on election day, cancelling all previous Internet votes).

There are local government council elections coming up soon, with online voting starting in a month, running from 5 October 2017 to 11 October 2017 (online voting is only available for advance polls, not on election day).

Estonia Local Gov Council Elections 2017

above from Municipal council election 2017

According to the Is the ID-card safe? FAQ, the National Electoral Committee (Vabariigi Valimiskomisjon) will decide whether to proceed with online voting.

UPDATE 2017-09-06: In its September 6, 2017 meeting, the National Electoral Committee decided to proceed with online voting in the October elections.  Reported by err.ee – Electoral committee: Online voting in October elections still on / Valimiskomisjon: e-hääletamine toimub.  ENDUPDATE

The analysis of the ID-card vulnerability, by “[a]n international group of cryptography scientists from recognized universities” will be “published in the coming autumn at an international scientific conference” according to the ID-card safety FAQ.

UPDATE 2017-09-06: There’s more detail about the specific vulnerability, which is appears to be a computationally-intensive, technically-challenging way to determine the private key from the security chip, in Postimees article Hackers could have made digital clones / Häkkerid võinuks luua eestlastest digikloonid.  ENDUPDATE

Links in English

Links in Estonian

Additional Context

Original story via Bruce Schneier – Security Flaw in Estonian National ID Card

As Estonia is the only country in the world with national Internet voting, I have written about it many times:

June 16, 2017  evaluation of Predicting the Future – online voting – Estonia
July 8, 2016 Estonian Internet voting and turnout myths
March 8, 2011 Estonian vote-counting system fails
November 11, 2004 e-voting in Estonia

For a perspective on security concerns with the Estonian system that predate the ID card issue, it is also important to read the materials on the website Independent Report on E-voting in Estonia as well as

Updates on Internet voting worldwide

Many things are happening.  Too many things for me to write separate blog posts.  Here’s the situation as of March 8, 2017:

Canada

  • Canadian Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform recommended against national Internet voting – see December 1, 2016 blog post ERRE Electoral Reform Committee Recommends Against Online Voting
  • Canada’s Minister of Democratic Institutions was directed in her Mandate Letter to defend the Canadian electoral process against cyberthreats – see January 23, 2017 blog post defend Canadian electoral process from cyber threats
  • New Brunswick legislature Commission on Electoral Reform recommended against Internet voting – see March 23, 2017 blog post New Brunswick Internet voting and page 21 of Commission report A pathway to an inclusive democracy
  • Vancouver Independent Election Task Force recommended to city council that Vancouver conduct an online voting pilot, including asking the province to establish an independent technical committee – see slide 17 “Conduct an online voting pilot” of the Task Force presentation to council and pages 27-28 of the Task Force final report
  • Many Ontario municipalities have approved Internet voting for the 2018 municipal elections (far more than this blog can track; it will probably end up being about 200 municipalities)

Everywhere Else