Digital national elections and E-voting is the future despite recent negative press surrounding the German national elections. Read about how half measures are endangering democracy and the impact of online voting.
Digital National Elections?
Elections are traditionally the realm of pen and paper. Recently, however, the counting of ballot papers has been digitalized. There are many companies that build and program large counting machines. They work with the electoral commission to design the ballot papers and ensure they will work with their hardware.
It was precisely this aspect of the German parliamentary election that hackers targeted.It was days before the German federal election 2017 and Hackers had decrypted the software that was to be used to count votes. Experts from the Chaos Computer Club discovered the flaw in the system, gathering significant media attention. Nonetheless a few days later Arne Schönbohm, the head of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), stated that German voters should be allowed to cast their votes online in the future.
This approach by a leading government department led to some raised eyebrows. Konstantin von Notz, the deputy chair and spokeswoman for the Green Alliance in Parliament noted: “It is surprising that the BSI is now bringing digital elections into the game whilst the security and secrecy of the election in two weeks are not even guaranteed.”
If you look more closely at Arne Schönbohm’s statement, it is not all that surprising. Indeed, E-voting software is already more secure than software that is being used by the German Government. The software currently in use by the German government is installed on various computers. This leaves it open to manipulation as once installed it can be imported and exported and further distributed.
Paradoxically, the half-measure of attempting to digitalize paper elections has unearthed serious weaknesses in the electoral process. Online elections, on the other hand, would have to be certified from the BSI to ensure that all of the democratic principles of elections are always upheld.
We are currently the only company that has a certificate from the German Federal Office for Information Security. With our software, the secrecy of the ballot is ensured and the counting of votes cast is guaranteed for complete accuracy. More importantly though is that this can all be documented and traced without compromising voter anonymity. While there are a few steps to ensure voter authentication for national, political elections, Online elections are more secure, cheaper and faster to set up, and more environmentally friendly than what is currently in use. It is ultimately just a matter of time until they are adopted.
In Europe, online elections have been established as a voting procedure by two countries: Estonia and Switzerland. In Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court set rules and regulations surrounding digital elections after an infamous election involving voting computers.
Online Elections for your Institution
While we are constantly working with other institutions and companies to raise politician and the public’s opinion of online voting to where it should be. In the meantime, we offer full service and Software as Service options to help your institution vote online with ease.
Your elections are in the right hands with our certified online election software and our election experts. We ensure that your elections are carried out in accordance with your every need, bylaws and complex voting procedures.