Record amount of i-votes given via updated internet voting software during Estonian local municipality elections

During the local municipality elections in October, a record amount of 186 034 votes (31.7% of total votes) were cast online. During the previous local municipality elections in 2013, 21.2% votes were cast online in comparison.

“During the last three elections, practically a third of voters have chosen to give their votes online,” says Priit Vinkel, Head of the State Electoral Office. “This year, we used an updated internet voting system. Even though the process remained the same for the voter, the entire system was fully controllable,” Vinkel added.

According to Sven Heiberg, Head of Internet Voting at Cybernetica, the new software has well proven its worth. “We achieved a new level of compliance with the security measures and ensuring integrity this year by adding several important updates, including high availability of the collection service (digital ballot box in three separate locations), auditability of the voting results, registering vote storage by the registration authority and finally the compliance audit,” Heiberg added.

Oliver Väärtnõu, the CEO of Cybernetica, says the current overhaul of the internet voting software was one of the most large-scale updates done since 2005, when internet voting was first introduced in Estonia. “We practically updated the entire software,” Väärtnõu notes. “Cybernetica has developed the internet voting solution since the beginning. We are honoured to be the partner for the state for such a critical service,” he adds.

Internet voting has been used in Estonian elections for nine times since 2005. Cybernetica signed a long-term contract for the development and maintenance of the interneti voting system in 2016 after winning the public bid. The bid was open to all EU entities and received bids from three companies.