Norway invites OSCE to observe e-voting

The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development has invited the OSCE to observe pilot electronic voting during the municipal and county council elections this autumn when voters in 10 municipalities will be given an opportunity to vote via the Internet.

“We want the pilot to take place in accordance with international standards and obligations. I therefore hope that the OSCE has the opportunity to follow both the preparations and conduct of our pilot electronic voting project. It is very important that confidence in the electoral process is maintained also when we cast our votes online,” says Minister Liv Signe Navarsete.

Making it possible for voters to vote over the Internet provides new and entirely different challenges with regard to procedures and methods for monitoring elections. The ability to observe e-elections is naturally different than with traditional voting. In observing e-elections, it is important to focus on the connection between technology and the requirement for secret ballots.

“We know that the OSCE is in the process of preparing a manual for observing electronic voting. We hope the pilot project in Norway will help provide useful experience,” says Navarsete.

Pursuant to the Election Act, the Ministry is authorised to accredit national and international election observers to observe the conduct of elections in this country. Norwegian municipalities are obliged to accept the accredited observers and to facilitate the observation of elections. Through various international conventions and documents Norway is obliged to invite and to receive national and international election observers.

The OSCE conducted a limited election observation in Norway during the general election of 2009. Their report is available in Norwegian and English.

The OSCE is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and ODIHR is the division within the organization that is responsible for observing elections.

Source: Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

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