Historical archive

Internet voting pilots announced for 2013

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

The Government will conduct another pilot of Internet voting for the parliamentary election of 2013, due to positive experiences from the pilot in 2011. - We still need to know more before we can conclude on whether or not this should be a future way of voting for all voters in Norway, says State Secretary Dag Henrik Sandbakken.

The Government will conduct another pilot of Internet voting for the parliamentary election of 2013, due to positive experiences from the pilot in 2011. - We still need to know more before we can conclude on whether or not this should be a future way of voting for all voters in Norway, says State Secretary Dag Henrik Sandbakken.

In a proposition presented to Parliament on Friday 14 December 2012, the Parliament was informed that the Government wants to conduct an Internet voting pilot during the Parliamentary election in 2013. The ten municipalities that participated in the previous pilot are invited participate again in 2013. In addition, the municipalities of Larvik and Fredrikstad are also invited to participate.

The evaluation of the 2011 pilot showed that voters had high confidence in the election process. 92 per cent of voters in the pilot municipalities were in favor of electronic voting. They considered it an easy and convenient way of casting their vote. In addition, 75 per cent of voters in the rest of the country also expressed favourable opinions of Internet voting.

One of the key findings of the evaluation is an increase in accessibility for voters that today experience a lack of accessibility when voting.

- Voters with disabilities were able to vote alone and unassisted for the first time. This includes for instance blind and visually impaired voters. We have received favorable feedback from the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, who welcome a pilot in 2013, says Sandbakken.

The evaluation of the previous pilot showed that voters in the pilot municipalities were no more prone to violation of the principle of the secrecy of the ballot, than voters in other municipalities. In addition, Internet voters were no more exposed to undue influence or vote buying than other groups of voters.

The researchers point out that the Internet voting pilot  raised several questions that the evaluation has left unanswered, and therefore further piloting and research is needed. We know too little about whether or not Internet voting could affect voter turnout in the long term. Moreover, groups who choose to vote using the Internet can gradually change.

The ten municipalities that participated in the previous pilot, and that are invited to participate in 2013 are: Bodø, Bremanger, Hammerfest, Mandal, Radøy, Re, Sandnes, Tynset, Vefsn and Ålesund.