Estonia’s E-election of twenty-Eleven

Estonia is probably, politically and technologically speaking, most well-known for our e-government. All the services that the government offers are readily available online and literally everywhere thanks to our vast WiFi and 3G range. Every citizen has acquired an ID-card which functions, like the name implies, as identification in day-to-day life and online.

High-mark of this e-liberty is the fact that all citizens of over 18 in age can use their ID-cards to vote online in the e-elections, this however is not yet fully polished system and is prone to have a couple of problems.

The first problem is the technology behind the e-elections.
To vote one first had to go to an unsecured website, download a program and only then they could begin with the voting.
The fact that the program had to be downloaded from an unsecure website could cause some highly malicious problems, for example somebody could attach a totally different program that is to be downloaded thus either giving way to manipulation in the voting system or stealing of private information.
Secondly, the server seemed to be constantly down. It was near impossible to vote during the day since the program could not connect to the server, from what I have heard it had something to do with third-party services lacking the ability to handle hundreds and hundreds of requests.
The third problem ties in with the area of impact.
The results. The results were very undetailed to, at first glimpse, keep things simple and quick. But upon further investigation it turned out that it is nearly impossible to find detailed results or the amount of votes a candidate received. I for example went through about 5 different graphs and 3 webpages and I still could not find what I was looking for.

Coming back to the topic of manipulation. Corruption seems to be inherent in politics; it has been so ever since the days of ancient Greek. However with the amount of technology used in e-election and the amount of people taking part of the e-elections the manipulations can get ugly real fast.
One fear was that the e-election system would give the votes to some other candidate and the danger was there, however luckily that did not happen.
Politicians still seem keen on purchasing votes in the old-school election stations and this brings me to my second point. E-elections could remove these purchases of votes forever.
However only setting up e-elections will bring us to our third aspect of the triangle: senior citizens.

With all the attached technology a huge problem will become the senior citizens who have voted by the means of pen and paper all their lives. They can not adjust to the new technology fast enough and thus a large proportion of votes will be left unheard.
However this problem is only temporary seeing as the technology is slowly overtaking old ways and the new wave of senior citizens are already able around technology.

In conclusion I truly believe in the e-system and I truly hope that the lasts chinks in armour will be ironed out and we all can enjoy the comfortable future of politics.