Municipal elections 2008: Electronic voting in three municipalities
In the 2008 municipal elections the Ministry of Justice will for the first time arrange electronic elections in three municipalities. Those entitled to vote in Karkkila, Kauniainen and Vihti, approx. 34,000 persons, will be able to vote electronically at polling stations either on election day or in advance. Electronic voting will not be possible in other municipalities.
The electronic voting system will be in use at all advance polling stations in Karkkila, Kauniainen and Vihti from 15 to 21 October and at the election day polling stations on 26 October. Traditional ballot voting will also be allowed.
When voting electronically, the voter will, upon establishing proof of identity, receive a voting card on which his or her data are recorded. The voter inserts the card in the card reader in the voting terminal, presses the number of the candidate on the touch screen and approves it.
A presentation of electronic voting (a demo) can be found on the election site of the Ministry of Justice www.vaalit.fi.
The electronic voting system facilitates and expedites in particular the advance voting and the vote counting. The Ministry of Justice will bear the costs of the computer programmes used for the electronic voting, the voting booths, the voting cards and the IT connection necessary in the election buses in Vihti. The trial municipalities will be responsible for acquiring the work stations, the touch screens and the card readers.
A possible extension of the use of electronic voting in future elections will be considered on the basis of experience gained in the municipal elections.
The secrecy of the election process is protected
The secrecy of the election process is equally well protected in electronic voting as in traditional ballot voting. The vote and the social security number of the voter are registered in the electronic ballot box of the Ministry of Justice via the voting terminal in such a way as to make it impossible to combine the two.
The core elements of the electronic voting system are based on the Linux operative system. The voting system is supplied to the Ministry of Justice by TietoEnator and the data security solution is based on a product of the company Scytl. In the spring of 2008 the Department of Mathematics at the University of Turku will perform an independent assessment of electronic voting after which possibly necessary amendments will be made to the system.
Additional information: Mr Arto Jääskeläinen, Director of Elections, tel. +358 9 1606 7572
Mr Jussi Aaltonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 676 20
Mr Jukka Leino, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 10 36 64 611
e-mail: [email protected]