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Norway Ends Its Experiment With E-Voting

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, June 30 2014

In Norway, the government recently decided to end their e-voting system, which was used in the 2011 and 2013 elections, BBC reported on Friday.

In a press release, Norway's Office of Modernization declared that it was ending its experiments with digital voting following discussions in the Parliament. They explained that “the Government wants to ensure that the highest confidence possible exists for elections in Norway […] While there is a broad political desire to introduce Internet voting, the government has concluded that it is not appropriate to spend money and time on several attempts.”

Citing a report, the BBC, says that in the 2013 trial, about 70,000 Norwegians or 38% of those eligible chose to cast an e-vote.

In the report, there was also some evidence that during the 2013 trial, a small number of people (less than 1% of all voters) voted twice, by voting early online and then casting a paper ballot on election day.

Back in September 2013, ZDnet reported that the Norwegian e-voting system had raised several concerns among security experts.

“In order to push both the trustworthiness and transparency of the procedure, the source code for this year's e-voting system was put into the public domain, and anyone can now download and study the source code used from the e-voting project webpage,” Stig Øyvann wrote in the article.
He later added that in 2013, “28 percent of all voters in the trial municipalities voted via the internet — an increase of 12 percentage points from the e-voting participation, which reached 16 percent in the 2011 pilot.”

According to the report by Norway's Institute of Social Research, BBC writes, “there was no evidence that the trial led to a rise in the overall number of people voting nor that it mobilized new groups, such as young people, to vote."

In Estonia, security doubts have also been cast on their Internet voting system, first implement in 2005, where up to a quarter of votes are cast online.

As TechPresident reported earlier, this year a group of online voting and security experts presented the results of their research into digital voting systems based on simulation. It found that it could be subject to manipulation.

The researchers concluded that despite being sophisticated and well built, the Estonian system is still susceptible to compromise via cyber attacks.

In response, the Estonian National Electoral Committee issued a statement with a rebuttal to the researchers' critiques and dismissed the critiques as political more than technical. 

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