Tag: Internet-äänestys

Finland recommends against Internet voting

Finland did an extensive study in 2017, running from February to November, and reported its final results in December.

The report concluded that the risks of online voting outweigh its benefits.

The original government web page has been replaced by a new page: Nettiäänestyksen esiselvitys. Documents are in section Asiakirjat (“Documentation”).
SIDEBAR: The last archive of the previous Nettiäänestys page is from June 16, 2017. END SIDEBAR

Press releases


Key Statements

Online voting technology and the development of the structures required for the system are not yet at a level that would enable a sufficiently secure implementation and introduction of the system. There are still open questions in terms of verifiability and the secrecy of the ballot. It is not expected that the key risks related to online voting would be solved in the next few years.
The monitoring group came into the conclusion that online voting should not be introduced in general elections, because the risks involved are greater than the benefits. Online voting would not resolve the current problems, such as the low voter turnout.

March 14, 2017  Internet voting in Finland

Internet voting in Finland

UPDATE 2018-02-28: Finland will not implement Internet voting.  The working group report recommended against Internet voting due to the risks.  END UPDATE

Finland has announced its intention to implement Internet voting in national elections.  The working group has been struck as of February 2017 and its report is due by end of November 2017.

In its strategy session on Monday 24 October [2016], the Government of Finland outlined that electronic voting will be introduced in Finland as an alternative to the traditional voting in all elections.

above from Ministry of Justice, Finland – Finnish Government: Introduction of internet voting set as goal – October 27, 2016 – also available in Finnish: Hallitus: Tavoitteeksi nettiäänestyksen käyttöönotto and Swedish: Regeringen: Införande av internetröstning som mål

Finnish Election Director Arto Jääskeläinen further expanded on their national plan through the Ministry of Justice blog in December 2016, but in Finnish only: Nettiäänestyksessä paljon pohdittavaa: Selvitys käyntiin

Google Translate struggles with Finnish, but here is a part of the post in translation

– Can the on-line voting system to protect your launch cyber-attacks and how the voter has the assurance that the resolution of his voice remains in the system and there is calculated in such a way as he is meant? Since the election shall be submitted at any given time, a successful denial of service attack would have serious consequences. Online Voting differs significantly from many other online services: voters and his its sound is not explicitly allowed to be able to connect to each other and the election may vote only at the end of the voting period even if the links were playing again.

Many security experts have recently expressed very critical views about the safety of online vote and were of the opinion that completely secure system does not exist. These speeches are in my opinion, should be treated with respect and take them into account in the development of on-line voting.

The working group was struck on February 21, 2017.

The working group is tasked with conducting a study on the potential system to be used for online voting in general elections and consultative referendums. The study will, among other things, examine the operating environment, market and data security of online voting, analyse the related risks, and present proposals for further measures.

above from the Ministry of Justice, republished on the elections site – Working group to conduct feasibility study on online voting – also available in Finnish: Työryhmä tekee esiselvityksen nettiäänestyksen toteuttamisesta and in Swedish: Arbetsgrupp gör förutredning om internetröstning

At this point I should probably note that etunimi.sukunimi@om.fi is not an actual email address (I made this mistake myself), it’s just a formula for constructing an email address with firstname (etunimi) dot lastname (sukunimi).

There is a page with more details but it is only available in Finnish and Swedish.

In document Työryhmän asettaminen (“Setting up a working group”) it gives the membership. It is good to see that there are many members from cybersecurity, ICT and computer science organisations.

Name Organisation Role Notes
Johanna Suurpää Ministry of Justice Chair
Arto Jääskeläinen Ministry of Justice Vice-Chair
Markus Rahkola Ministry of Finance member
Mikko Viitaila Finnish Communications Regulatory Agency FICORA – Cybersecurity (Viestintäviraston Kyberturvallisuuskeskus) member
Anniina Tjurin Legal Register Centre, responsible for information systems in the Ministry of Justice (Oikeusrekisterikeskus) member
Juha Mäenalusta Legal Register Centre, responsible for information systems in the Ministry of Justice (Oikeusrekisterikeskus) member
Tommi Simula Government ICT Centre (Valtion tieto- ja viestintätekniikkakeskus Valtori) member
Pauli Pekkanen Population Register Centre (Väestörekisterikeskus) member
Tuomas Aura Aalto University, Department of Computer Science (Aalto yliopisto, Tietotekniikan laitos) member
Seppo Virtanen University of Turku, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science / Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Turun yliopisto, Matematiikan ja tilastotieteen laitos) member
Marianne Kinnula University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering ITEE (Oulun yliopisto, Tieto- ja sähkötekniikan tiedekunta) member
Hanna Wass Election Study Consortium (Kansallinen vaalitutkimuskonsortio) member
Timo Karjalainen Electronic Frontier Finland ry EFFI member
Anneli Salomaa Ministry of Justice Project Manager
Heini Huotarinen Ministry of Justice Inspector General ? (Ylitarkastaja)

Chair of the working group may appoint a technical sub-group practice for preparatory work.

Johanna Suurpää, chair of the working group, Director, Ministry of Justice, tel. 02951 50534
Anneli Salomaa, secretary of the working group, Project Manager, tel. 02951 50164
email: firstname.lastname@om.fi

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:


  • 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