Internet Voting in Estonia

Thad and I have been in Estonia, observing their parliamentary election, including their use of Internet voting. In coming essays, and in other work, we will begin to put together our observations, reflections, and analysis of their process — especially regarding their Internet voting system.

Last night, we had an opportunity to be literally locked into a room in the Estonian parliamentary building for sixty minutes, with the doors guarded by security, while we observed the decrypting and initial counting of the votes that were cast online in the Estonian election (we had spent the earlier part of the day watching their paper-based voting in polling stations in Tallinn and to the west of Tallinn, and then after the counting of the Internet ballots was done, had a fascinating experience watching the close of polls at a polling station in Tallinn — much more on all of that later).

During the Internet vote decrypting and counting, we learned that 30,275 people voted online, and 30,243 online votes were included in the tabulation (32 of the online voters decided to cast a final ballot on paper). This photograph below comes from the Internet voting decrypting and tabulation process last night, and this initial slide from the presentation gives some of the Internet voting participation statistics.

We’ll write more about the Estonian Internet voting system soon …