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.
The site states that voting online has saved more than 11,000 working days in potentially lost work hours each time Estonians go to the polls. Some 99 percent of Estonia’s public services are accessible online as well.
The Finnish justice ministry working group said the security of online voting is not yet advanced enough to completely ensure voter security and confidentiality without the risk of damaging the integrity of elections.
One of the shortcomings in an electronic election system, the justice ministry working group said, is that it would be difficult to precisely tally the votes while at the same time guaranteeing voter anonymity.
The working group announced its findings on Tuesday afternoon, saying that a voter should be able to receive some kind of confirmation that his or her vote has been received and that the vote was accounted for.