E-voting task force finishes report including 25 proposals for improving system

Electronic ID-card.
Electronic ID-card. Photo: Arvo Meeks / LEPM

The e-election task force has completed a report including 25 proposals for supplementing the Estonian e-election system, improving its reliability and managing risks.

Foreign Trade and Information Technology Minister Kaimar Karu said that the report gave a useful overview of the issues surrounding e-elections. “The current e-election system has been in development and use already from 2005 and, as with any other complex system, it requires continued development and improvement,” the minister said in a press release.

The report of the task force, which was launched by previous foreign trade and IT minister Kert Kingo, will serve as one input in agreeing on further steps in cooperation with other involved ministries and agencies.

“By now, the e-election system can definitely be viewed as part of the state’s core infrastructure and its funding and development are of extremely high priority. We must continue to be convinced that we are using the best technology available today, while also taking into account, to the extent possible, future changes in both cryptography and technology capabilities in general,” Karu said.

“We will review legislative aspects concerning e-elections in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and the State Electoral Office. In addition, we need to make sure that the principles on which e-elections are based are socially accepted. We will definitely also seriously consider the proposal to ensure strong representation of all parties in the observation of e-elections,” the minister added.

According to Karu, work on the issues covered by the report needs to be continued, and serious cooperation will now begin on implementing the next steps. “Work to ensure the security and transparency of the system must be consistent, not episodic. We want to learn from international experience and involve even more independent international experts than before,” he added.

“We will definitely also form the next task forces for dealing with more concrete issues in greater depth and achieving the set goals,” the minister said. 

Over a period of six months, the task force analyzed all submitted proposals for improvement and the finished report highlights 25 of the most important assessments and suggestions.

The task force was led by Raul Rikk, national cybersecurity policy director at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and its other members included Tarvi Martens, Tanel Tammet, Mihkel Solvak, Liia Hanni, Epp Maaten, Mart Poder, Mihkel Tammet, Mariko Joeorg-Jurtsenko, Martti Allingu, Arne Koitmae, Tarmo Hanga, Alo Einla and Heldur-Valdek Seeder.