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Internet Voting in Estonia Tarvi Martens Project Manager National Electoral Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "Internet Voting in Estonia Tarvi Martens Project Manager National Electoral Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internet Voting in Estonia Tarvi Martens Project Manager National Electoral Committee

2 E-stonia ? Population: 1.35M Everyday Internet usage: 54% Internet banking: 86% Mobile penetration: 95% Free Internet Access points PKI penetration: >65% Biggest national eID card roll-out in the Europe !

3 Internet Voting? In October 2005 Estonia had first-ever pan-national Internet Voting with binding results ~80% of voters had a chance to vote via Internet due to the ID-card ~2% of participated voters used that possibility

4 ID-card Project Started in 1997 Law on personal identification documents: Feb, 1999 Digital Signature Act: March, 2000 Government accepted plan for launching ID-card: May, 2000 First card issued: Jan 28, 2002 Dec 2005: cards have been issued

5 The Card “Compulsory” for all residents Contains: Personal data file Certificate for authentication (along with address Certificate for digital signature

6 Usage of the ID-card Major ID-document Replacement of (transportation) tickets library cards healt insurance card driver documents etc... Authentication token for all major e-services Digital signature tool

7 Internet Voting ? Not a nuclear physics Just another application for ID-card...with some special requirements & measures...

8 What it takes ? Trust Token for i-voters Politicians & Laws VotersTechnologyProcedures

9 Legal foundation ) voter can use internet for voting 2) voter is authenticated using ID-card 3) voter confirms his selection with digital signature 4) e-voting takes place during absentee voting i.e. days before the Election Day

10 Big Fight in 2005 Amendments to the electoral law to reflect the reality Long discussions in the Parliament The President rejected the amended law twice National Court decided that the amendments are correspondant to the Constitutional Law Issue: With Internet voting you can vote repeaditly

11 I-voting Main Principles All major principles of paper-voting are followed I-voting is allowed during period before Voting Day The user uses ID-card System authenticates the user Voter confirms his choice with digital signature Repeated e-voting is allowed Only last e-ballot is counted Manual re-voting is allowed If vote is casted in paper during the Election Day, e-vote(s) will be revoked

12 Voter registration Missing All citizen (residents) should register their place of living in central population register Only voters with registered addresses are eligible Population register is used

13 To vote via Internet voter needs: An Estonian ID card with valid certificates and PIN-codes Computer used for voting must have: A smart card reader A driver for ID card (free to download from page A Windows,Linux or MacOSX operating system

14 I Website for voting

15 II Authentication  Put your card into card reader  Insert PIN 1 for authentication ****

16 III Ballot completion  Choose a candidate

17 IV Authentication  Confirm your choice  Insert PIN 2 *****

18 V Confirmation

19 Encrypted vote Digital signature E-voters E-votesResults Private key Public key Envelope scheme

20 Audit Key Management List of Candidates List of Voters Vote Forwarding Server Vote Storing Server Vote Counting Application Voter application Audit application log Central System Architecture

21 Principles for selecting technology for I-voting Involve all major influencers and “specialists” Keep it as simple as possible Build it on secure&stable platforms (Debian) No: Databases (engines) 9GL envirmonments – use C & Python 3rd party libraries too much

22 Managing Procedures All fully documented Crash course for observers-politicians & auditors All security-critical procedures: Logged Audited & observed Videotaped All major IS-specialists involved for network- monitoring 24/7 for dDOS or trojans

23 Physical Security Governmental security hosting Two independant departement guarding the server room Strict requirements for entering the server premises Auditor(s), cam-man, operator, police officer Sealing of hardware

24 Some statistics

25 Lessons learned I-voting is not a killer-application. It is just another way for people to vote People’s attitude and behavior change in decades and generations, not in seconds I-voting will be as natural as Internet-banking but even more secure Internet voting is there to stay

26 More information


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