Security concerns have re-emerged to further frustrate the Finnish government’s plans to launch a national e-voting system. But the country’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) working group, which is leading the project, insists the venture is delayed rather than mothballed. Finland’s online e-voting project will now enter a problem-solving phase to identify advanced, effective and best practice solutions to protect a future e-voting system. … The MoJ estimates that the cost of launching and operating an e-voting system, based on a 15-year timespan, will be about €32m. But the risks attached to launching online voting in Finland currently outweigh its benefits, said Johanna Suurpää, chair of the MoJ’s e-voting working group (eVWG). “Our present position is that online voting should not be introduced in general elections as the risks are greater than the benefits,” said Suurpää. In its project feasibility report presented to the MoJ, the eVWG conceded that although a Finnish online e-voting system is technically possible, the technology available is not yet at a “sufficiently high level to meet all the requirements”.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Finland.
Sauli Niinisto was re-elected as Finland’s president without recourse to a runoff — a first since the post has been settled by popular vote. The 69-year-old former finance minister won the election with 62.7 percent backing, surpassing the 50 percent needed to avoid a second vote. His closest rival, Pekka Haavisto of the Greens, who ran against Niinisto in 2012, had support of 12.4 percent and conceded defeat, YLE said. Turnout was 66.7 percent. “Finland is a great country — it’s the most stable country in the world,” Niinisto told his supporters in Helsinki on Sunday. “Better to be small and stable than large and fractured.”
Finns are expected to re-elect moderate Sauli Niinisto for a second six-year term in elections on Sunday, counting on his skill and caution to ensure a close relationship with NATO without antagonizing neighboring Russia. Niinisto, 69, is credited with helping Finland perform a delicate balancing act between the Kremlin and the U.S.-led military alliance, of which it is not a member but with which it developed closer ties after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. Latest opinion polls by Alma Media and Helsingin Sanomat show support of 58-68 percent for Niinisto, who is originally from conservative National Coalition Party (NCP) – a member of Helsinki’s ruling coalition – but campaigns as an independent.
Finland should not consider setting up an online voting system for its elections just yet, according to a Justice Ministry working group. The risks in doing so at this point are much higher than benefits that e-voting might bring, they said. Some risks the group identified in an online e-voting system include: widespread manipulation of election results, disruption of elections through denial of service attacks and the potential for the loss of voter anonymity through hacks or other methods. The working group said that while current technology is not yet advanced enough, further development of e-voting technologies could bring new opportunities down the road. The basic tech to set up an online voting system for elections is possible today. For example, Finland’s nearby Baltic neighbour Estonia has utilised e-voting for longer than a decade now. According to the country’s website e-estonia.com, some 30 percent of the Estonian electorate voted through online services in their last elections.
As expected, Finnish voters on Sunday turned out their country’s Conservative-led government and its pro-European prime minister, Alex Stubb. The opposition Centre Party came in a clear first, with 21% of the vote. But the verdict seemed more an expression of economic frustration and a rejection of the current government than an endorsement of a new one. Only the smallest of margins separated the runner-up parties: the Conservatives won 18%, the Finns Party 17.6%, and the Social Democrats 16.5%. Finns waited until the last minute to make up their minds. Less than a week before the election, more than 40% of voters were still undecided.
Finland’s opposition Centre Party came out on top in Sunday’s general election, far ahead of the parties in Prime Minister Alexander Stubb’s left-right coalition, partial results showed. If the results were to be confirmed, Centre Party leader Juha Sipila, a 53-year-old IT millionaire and newcomer to politics, would become Finland’s next prime minister. More than a third of the electorate cast their ballots in advance voting and with most of those counted, the Centre Party was seen taking 47 of 200 seats in parliament, a projection by public radio and television YLE showed. The Social Democrats were seen taking 38 seats, Stubb’s conservative National Coalition Party 37 seats, and the rightwing eurosceptic Finns Party 33 seats.
From closer NATO ties to rumors of Kremlin-backed land deals on its border, Finland’s diplomatic balancing act with Russia has come under the spotlight before Sunday’s parliamentary election as politicians debate how far to challenge the Kremlin. The vote sees centrist opposition front-runner Juha Sipila, who favors military non-alignment along with two other major parties, battling center-right incumbent Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who advocates joining NATO. The debate was mirrored regionally after an unprecedented hawkish joint statement last week by Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland – that directly cited the Russian “challenge” as grounds to increase defense cooperation.
Helsinki voters won’t be getting much free coffee this election season, after the city banned parties from handing it out in major marketplaces. The country goes to the polls on 19 April and it’s a popular tradition for campaigners to serve steaming cups of the beverage during events. But that’s now been stopped after complaints from nearby coffee shop owners, the national broadcaster Yle reports. “Our sales are impacted immediately if the same product can be obtained for free,” says Timo Taulavuori from the Tukkutori group, which oversees Helsinki’s marketplaces. “This is unfair towards those who make a living from selling coffee.” Finns are among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, with per capita consumption of 1.8 cups per day, second only to The Netherlands.
With nearly 100% of the vote counted, National Coalition candidate Sauli Niinisto has won the second and decisive round of Finland’s presidential election. Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto conceded the race just before 9 PM. The win by the National Coalition’s Sauli Niinistö will bring to an end a 30-year era of Social Democratic Party presidents in Finland Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto conceded defeat in his bid for the presidency when about 80% of the vote had been counted and it was evident that Niinistö had polled over 60%. Despite a final spurt in Haavisto’s campaign, support simply did not grow enough to bring him a victory. Even so, Haavisto said he was satisfied with the count. “From the summer’s five percent it is a good rise. Over a million people gave me their backing.”
Polling stations opened across Finland Sunday for the second round of presidential vote, with conservative Sauli Niinistoe widely expected to triumph over green liberal challenger Pekka Haavisto. Voting began at 9:00 am (0700 GMT) and ends at at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) with final results expected around 2000 GMT on Sunday. The most recent public opinion poll, published Thursday, gave the National Coalition Party’s Niinistoe 62 percent support against 38 percent for the Green League’s Haavisto.