Estonian Electoral Committee: M-voting too risky

Estonian National Electoral Committee says that mobile voting remains too risky, as the state cannot ensure the authenticity, distribution, and integrity of voting on personal smartphones.

 Electronics, Mobile Phone, Phone, Texting

The Estonian National Electoral Committee believes that mobile voting (m-voting) carries too many risks and poses significant challenges to the integrity of elections.

The Committee specifically emphasised several serious risks of m-voting. Using a mobile voting app would prevent the state from carrying out necessary checks or acquiring critical updates to the app, leaving the distribution in the hands of Google and Apple. The state would further have less ownership as the authenticity and integrity could not be verified. Apple’s iOS platform gives no control over the functionality of voter applications. Google Play does, however, allow the experts from the electoral office to authorise the app. Lastly, voters would need to separate devices, i.e. a QR code from another device, for protocol verification.

Arne Koitmäe, head of service at the State Electoral Office, said that the m-voting application could not be used in the European Parliament elections in its current form. As it stands, m-voting also poses other risks, the most serious ones associated with online shops, application distribution, and software updates, which the electoral service does not control.

In light of these issues, secure m-voting would require not only a change in the Electoral Commission’s decision but also a change in electoral laws.