Nothing remains of the May 2005 Securing the Vote report on the UK Electoral Commission site. There used to be a page Securing the vote – detailed proposals for electoral change announced but it is now gone.
The only location where a copy could be found was in a document repository from The Guardian newspaper: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Politics/documents/2005/05/20/eleccommission.pdf
The UK did extensive reporting on the 2007 pilots, the website was http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/elections/pilots/May2007 but it is no longer online. There is a copy in the Internet Archive.
Although there is no longer an organising page on the Electoral Commission page, some of the reports from 2007 are still available from them, as well as being copied in the Internet Archive.
There are two considerations to highlight from the UK Electronic Voting Summary:
- New voting methods should be rolled out only once their security and reliability have been fully tested and proven and they can command wide public confidence.
- The necessary costs for secure and reliable systems must be able to be reasonably met by the public purse.
I will highlight only one item from the Technical Assessments of the e-voting Pilots, item 3.4.4 from Assessment of the pilot process – Quality management:
While there were variations between the different pilots, in all cases the quality and testing arrangements appeared to be inadequate. It is difficult to tell whether this was purely because of lack of time, or whether some of the suppliers were not used to implementing effective quality processes. Significant quality management failings include:
a. Lack of detailed design documentation;
b. Lack of evidence of design or code reviews or other mechanisms for ensuring that the solutions operate correctly and do not include deliberate or accidental security flaws;
c. Lack of evidence of effective configuration management.
This kind of haphazard voting software development has been shockingly common, e.g. for US voting machines as well.
Note: The preceding is extracted from previous blog post Province of Ontario Internet voting.
UPDATE 2019-07-08: Just to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together, I will also point to a 2008 news release – Official report on internet voting pilot at Rushmoor elections published.
Other key findings in the report are that:
- there was no impact on turnout, which actually decreased very slightly from 36 percent in 2006 to 35.2 per cent at these elections;
- most internet voters (70 per cent) said they would have voted anyway;
Many things are happening. Too many things for me to write separate blog posts. Here’s the situation as of March 8, 2017:
- The Netherlands will use hand-counted paper ballots due to cybersecurity concerns. They have discussed almost totally eliminating computers from every step of the process. See primary source Uitslag verkiezingen moet boven alle twijfel verheven zijn (“Election results must be beyond all doubt”) and many secondary sources e.g. A small, tech-savvy nation gives up on computers in this month’s parliamentary elections.
- France has discontinued Internet voting (which was only offered to citizens abroad) due to cybersecurity concerns. Terminology used is vote électronique. See primary source Français de l’étranger – Modalités de vote aux élections législatives and many secondary sources e.g. France drops electronic voting for citizens abroad over cybersecurity fears
- Swiss Post has launched a demo of its third-party-vendor-based Internet voting solution, along with some accompanying technical documentation. In the text they open the possibility of external evaluation, stating “Swiss Post is also working with universities to review the system from a neutral scientific perspective.” See primary sources in English, French, German and Italian. I encourage you to examine the documentation, available by clicking on Transparency and Publications on the page Swiss Post’s e-voting solution.
- The Prime Minister of Estonia has said the government will continue with Internet voting, but that it needs to “proactively test” its Internet voting systems to ensure they can withstand cyberattacks. Terminology used is e-valimised (e-elections) and e-hääletamine (e-voting). Secondary sources Keskerakond vilistab varasematele seisukohtadele? Jüri Ratas: e-valimised jäävad, e-valimised ei kao and tweet by @ottummelas.
- Lithuania has announced its intent to have national online voting, with a target of 20% of votes cast online by 2020. Terminology used is balsavimo internetu (Internet voting). Primary source is in the government’s plan page 18 section 3.2.2. Balsavimo internetu sistemos sukūrimas (3.2.2 Internet Voting System), secondary source Lithuanian government seeks to introduce online voting this year.
- Finland has formed a new Internet voting working group, to investigate the implementation of national online voting, with a completion/report date of November 30, 2017. Terminology used is nettiäänestys (online voting) or Internet-äänestys (Internet voting). Primary sources Finnish Government: Introduction of internet voting set as goal (2016) and Working group to conduct feasibility study on online voting (2017). Secondary source Finland to allow voters to cast votes online in all general elections (2016). The working group information page (in Finnish) is Nettiäänestys and includes some background documents as well as the list of the working group members. Note that the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is just telling you that to contact someone you construct an email address with firstname (etunimi) dot lastname (sukunimi). – See March 14, 2017 blog post Internet voting in Finland. UPDATE 2018-02-28: Finland recommended against Internet voting. END UPDATE
- In addition to Canada, a number of other countries have expressed concerns about cybersecurity of the entire electoral process, including cybersecurity for political parties. This includes: the US, the Netherlands, France, and Australia.