OSCE/ODIHR releases Election Expert Team Report on Internet Voting Pilot Project in Norway

Last week, OSCE/ODIHR released its election expert team report on the Internet Voting Pilot Project in Norway.

Norway’s internet voting project for the 12 September 2011 local government elections was conducted in an open manner, but the system could have benefited from more formalized procedures, concludes the final report of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights’ Election Expert Team. The report was released on 2 March 2012.

According to the report, Norway’s Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, which implemented the project, performed its duties impartially and professionally. Despite certain technical difficulties and minor delays, the report says, the Ministry ensured a high level of security of the internet voting system, which was used as an additional voting channel for voters registered in ten selected municipalities.

Internet voters received a specially designed secret code, for checking whether their votes were cast as intended. However, the report highlights, due to the complexity of this feature’s design, the authorities experienced certain technical problems.

In addition, many aspects of the pilot project were not formalized, including the set-up, operation, security, testing and data disposal procedures, as well as defining the grounds for invalidating electronic votes. The report adds that the pilot could have also benefited from more comprehensive testing.