Election Universe

Entrepeneur lauds online voting in Estonia as the future

Entrepeneur lauds online voting in Estonia as the future
June 14 2017, 13:26

Noted internet entrepreneur Kalev Leetaru recently cited the Estonian online voting system saying that the ability it gives to voters to cast their vote and verify it by using two different devices is an important feature that addresses common security concerns about internet voting.

In a recent Forbes article, Leetaru, who has founded several internet companies and is now involved in the science of big data, said that online voting as implemented in Estonia requires that votes be cast via a desktop computer, while checking the vote must be performed on the smartphone, making the whole process more secure.

“This makes it highly unlikely for even the most motivated attacker to compromise both devices in such a way that your vote could be changed without your knowledge, he said, adding  that “even after voting online, you can always show up at a polling station on election day and vote via paper ballot if you want.”

He believes that the US could take a page from the small East European country, especially in the aftermath of allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

“Here in the US, evoting offers immense potential to mobilize and empower the US electorate in ways never before seen,” he said.

“Candidates no longer would have to convince voters to both like them and also drive themselves to the polls and wait in long frustrating lines on election day. Indeed, a whole new generation of voters might participate if all they had to do was log onto a website and click a button to cast their votes from their couch and could change their votes as many times as they wanted in reaction to late-breaking news, rather than being locked into the early vote they cast awhile back,” Leetary added.

The internet entrepreneur says that the Estonian model, which he described as the “most advanced digital government on the planet,” could be the future of governance.

“Modern-day Estonia has become synonymous with the notion of reimagining how citizens interact with their government, making nearly every governmental service available from home or on the go via a mouse click,” he said.

Leetaru went on to note that the country has allowed national elections via a secure online portal system, growing to over 30% of votes cast in the last several elections for more than a decade, making it a trailblazer in online voting.