Re: The Swedish voting scene

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Thu Oct 28 2004 - 04:21:58 CDT

This is very interesting, Jan.

> In case you have a moment to read a bit about the voting situation
> here in Sweden, amidst fund raising, presidential elections and all
> that...
> I knew that there are no current plans to start using e-voting in
> Sweden, but I haven't really looked into what is happening before.
> I found a policy document from the Swedish Election Authority
> (Valmyndigheten) about this. Although electronic voting is not
> to be used in the near future, they have already drawn up the
> following guidelines (my translation):
> * The Election Authority should not develop an e-voting platform
> itself, or together with commercial interests.
> * E-voting in Sweden should not use single purpose voting machines,
> since they are used too seldom, and will become obsolete between
> elections. The system ought to build on standard components - i.e.
> PC's and internet.
I think this is very intelligent! A lot of election people in the U.S.
cringe at the thought of multi-use PCs for voting. However, it's important
to note that some of them do think it makes sense. I definitely think it's
the way to go, although it may take some time for the idea to prevail. I
take this to mean that people in Sweden are advanced thinkers!

> * The voting ought to take place in an existing infrastructure, for
> example public libraries, or other institutions that already have
> computers for other purposes.

> * Sweden's system should build on open source programs, developed for
> general purposes, and follow the work done by OASIS (Organization
> for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), with
> development of EML (Election Markup Language).

> A lot of this look like the OVC concept. I contacted a representative
> of the Election Authority, but they were not aware of what the OVC
> has done - they are now :-). They have an assignment to follow the
> development of electronic voting, and I will keep them up to date
> with what OVC is doing. Anyway, they seem to have some sensible
> people there!
I may look into moving to Sweden.

Alan Dechert
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Received on Mon Nov 1 15:28:51 2004

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