The Supreme Court of Estonia rejected the appeal of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) of the National Electoral Committee’s Sept. 6 decision not to ban electronic voting at the local government council elections taking place next month. The Supreme Court explained that, according to the Local Government Council Election Act, the National Electoral Committee has the right not to start electronic voting if the security or reliability of the electronic voting system cannot be ensured in such way that electronic voting could be conducted pursuant to the requirements of the act. The National Electoral Committee is not, however, required to cancel e-voting if it receives information indicating the possibility of adverse consequences.
“The National Electoral Committee must employ this measure if the exploitation of a risk and the resulting adverse consequences are sufficiently likely in the opinion of the committee as based on known specific circumstances at the time the decision is made,” the country’s top court explained. “In doing so, the National Electoral Committee must also assess whether any potential e-voting violations resulting from the exploitation of the security risk may affect the election results to a significant extent.”
The Supreme Court found no reason to doubt the adequacy of the information collected by the electoral committee or the assessment of the security of Estonia’s e-voting system.
“Based on current information, the expense in time and other resources needed to actually realize this security threat is great enough that even if the security threat were realized, its exploitation to such an extent that could affect election results is unlikely,” the Supreme Court noted.