Estonia, the only country in the world where voters elect their leaders through online balloting, is taking steps to fend off potential hacking attacks as cyber-security fears intensify. A software overhaul for the system, introduced in 2005, is ready for testing before local elections in October, according to Tarvi Martens, the National Electoral Committee’s head of e-voting. The upgrade includes anti-tampering features known as end-to-end verifiability that addresses security concerns from groups such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, he said. “End-to-end verifiability is the ‘Holy Grail’ for electronic voting,” Martens said this month in a phone interview. “When we talk about international criticism, the new software now addresses it.”
… While almost a third of votes were cast electronically in Estonia’s 2015 general elections, Prime Minister Juri Ratas said last week in an interview that “daily work is needed to improve its security as any breach would undermine the credibility of the entire system.”
In 2014, an expert group led by University of Michigan Professor Alex Halderman, recommended the “immediate withdrawal” of Estonian internet voting, citing “major” security risks. The OSCE urged Estonia to ensure end-to-end verifiability the following year. Some members of the ruling Center Party want e-voting to be discontinued.