IGF 2021 - Day 2 - WS #254 Democracy and online voting: challenges and innovations

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> PAULO LARA:  Welcome everyone who's joining.  We should

    start in three minutes.  So thank you for being here.

        Hi, everyone.

        Should we start?

        >> PAULO LARA:  I guess so.  Internet issues, I think that we

    do -- didn't go as it should.

        But in any case I'd like to welcome everyone.  Thank you for

    interest.  Good morning, good afternoon, or good night, depending

    where you are to everyone who's present on this session.

        We hope everyone is fine, healthy, and in a good mood today.

    My name is Paulo Lara.  I'm head of the digital rights programme at

    ARTICLE 19 Brazil, I'm a social scientist with a Ph.D. in politics

    from the University of London.

        And together with my fellow colleagues, Rafaela de Alcantara

    and (?)  We will coordinate this panel called Democracy and online

    voting: challenges and innovations.

        We thank the IGF for preparing and developing the event under

    such complex conditions, and all of those who are interested in

    attending and participating.

        Initially I would like to quickly describe the format of the

    session so everyone is aware.  We will start with an initial round

    of contribution of our speakers who will introduce the topic of

    their work in five minutes.

        After the first round we will have new additions of five

    minutes from each of the guests to complement, comment, or add the

    points that were presented so far.

        This first stage will (audio distortion) center of this

    information campaign that showed on many sides of the political

    spectrum the lack of interest, knowledge, and study about the

    relationship between technology and electoral process.

        The digital and participatory political processes range from

    the use of biometric registry, biotechnology for conference and use

    of large databases to register candidates and political parties

    until the structure for registering -- registry, transmitting,

    counting votes.

        Last year the Brazilian attorney voting machines were

    questioned by large organisation of -- from the part of the far

    right, President Bolsonaro, and his supporters, using evidence to

    question the voting -- in a manner, this group sought to interfere

    in the electoral process and to question the legitimacy of the

    process at a time when the -- the president was losing popularity

    and attacking democratic institutions and political opponents.

        This massive campaign used disinformation practices and

    polluted the legitimate debate on advances of improvements in

    digital electronic security, in addition to suspending the

    possibility of an open and democratic debate on the complexity of

    Brazilian electoral process.  In many cases responses to these

    attacks coming from the opposition to the president also showed a

    lack of understanding about technology, logistics, and legitimate

    concerns about the current status of the alliance between

    technology and democracy.

        One of the responses by the Supreme Electoral Court was to

    present the elaboration of a project to study the modernization and

    transparency for Brazilian elections called "elections of the

    future."  This idea is still in construction, takes the

    consideration the studies of adoption of votes over the Internet in

    some cases.

        As a way of contributing to the debate on the evolution of

    voting technologies and participatory process, we propose this

    panel to learn about, experience, and hear expert on this aspect,

    knowing that the political and electoral processes are not limited

    to the technicality of solutions but are presented as a social pact

    that needs trust, legitimacy, and transparency our intention is to

    address some aspects of the problems and novelties that arise in

    this scenario.

        So initially I would like to welcome you all and start our

    debate with the contribution from Dr. Rodrigo Silva, expert advisor

    at NIC.br.  So welcome, everyone.  And the floor is yours,

    Dr. Rodrigo.  Thanks a lot.

        >> RODRIGO SILVA:  Hi, everyone.  Want to thank Paulo and his

    staff for the invitation.  I feel honoured to participate in this

    workshop.  It is privilege to share a moment with you.  I'm

    Rodrigo, an advisor to NIC.br, network center in Brazil, I'm

    election server in Brazil especially in new vote technologies.

        My first impressions of -- in democracy are that I believe in

    the Internet vote process because it is an image topic.  However, I

    still very -- I still have a very conservative position in adopting

    internet voting, especially in Brazil.

        So let me explain my position, Brazilian case.

        In Brazil the starting point of voting occurred in 1989,

    election in (?) State.  Using micro computer to collect votes.

    It's an experiment and not project by the superior electoral

    courts.  Pay attention at this time because the issue of the

    security is not exactly the main point, but the objective is to

    speed up the process of totaling and disclosing the electoral


        The idea of the vote collector was adopt years out.  It began

    to improve it.  In joining with superior electoral court, the?

    Technology institute, and the national institute for spatial


        From this point onwards, the security of digital vote is

    mandatory in the technology adopting electoral process.

        So the first official voter elections occurred in 1996, by

    election.  Approximately it's 100 million voters, about 13 million

   voted it through election ballot box.

        Today of course the numbers are different than in 1996.

        In 2020 the population comprised almost 200 million

    Brazilians, of which 150 million are voters.

        The country has 5,568 cities.  And 492,000 voting places,

    require almost 6,000 electronic vote machines.  We can observe that

    the Brazilian electoral process is a complex logistics.

        And this is a problem because the security chain in voting

    process is formidable to security breach.  In this case the human

    factor in the security chain of the e-voting system.

        Throughout the elections questions arise about the security of

    the electoral process by the academic community and the political


        So we can see that in 25 years of the Brazilian vote system,

    only four officials were public.  And half them presented some

    failure or vulnerability.

        Between 2009 and 2014, there was an obligation for the public

    test.  The results of the 2012 were not well liked by the superior

    electoral court because of the vulnerability founded in the source


        The superior electoral court has chosen not to conduct public

    security testing of the e-vote system in 2012 and 2014.

       According to the Brazilian government, there was an internal

    test without the publicity of the results.

        Only in 2016 by the resolution 23-44 and 2015 test became


        Again, about public test, 2017, 2019, 2021, often presented

    some feeling of vulnerability.

        The current president of the superior electoral court and also

    the project elections for the future, in 2020, to replace the vote

    machines with the use of Internet e-voting and also the adoption of

    blockchain and UOT technology for the next elections.

        After two meetings with the project team, I can consider it's

    my (?) Of course, as the pillars for the president of the superior

    electoral courts to give up adopting Internet voting for the 2022

    elections.  However, the superior electoral court realis for the

    first time that the adoption of new technology in electoral process

    is necessary and imminent.  And it adopts the election for the

    future projects as a parallel improvement process without running

    over the current 2020 vote system.

        I understand that it is the right decision, as any digital

    information in the government platform must reach a degree of

    maturity before being fully implemented.

        So I conclude my first impressions.

        Thank you.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks a lot, Dr. Rodrigo for this panorama of

    Brazil.  And now I give the floor to Florian Marcus from Estonia

    bridging centre, a digital transformation advisor.  So Florian, the

    floor is yours.  Thanks a lot for being here.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  Thank you so much for the invitation.  Hi

    to everybody.  Greetings from Tallinn, at -17 degrees and snow

    right now.  Hope you're well.  I want to tell you about the Estonia

    experience.  I-voting, we say i rather than e because this is not

    about electronic ballots or anything of the like, it is that you

    can vote through the computer that you have at your home or through

    your laptop.

        Since 2005 all elections have been conducted both on paper and

    through the Internet, through personal computers.  So whether

    you're thinking about local elections or national elections, or

    even European parliamentary election, also the European commission

    has recognized our voting system for that.  I want to give you a

    very quick look at how it actually works.

        So I will share my screen with you.

        And so what you have to do is you have to download this

    application which is obviously free provided by the government.

    And you've got different ways of logging in.  In Estonia, an

    electronic identity is compulsory.  So you can log in with your

    I.D. card which looks like this.  You can also log in with

    something called mobile I.D. through your mobile phone, as the name


        Going to enter a random phone number, this is obviously a demo

    version.  I would get a notification on my phone that says check

    the control code, you get your PIN, this is obviously my real name

    and real code.  But click proceed and we will see all the different

    animal parties that are running for the elections in the forest.

    Let's take flying squirrels party and the European flying squirrel

    as the candidate.  Very good educational and tech policies.

        So now we have are you sure that you want to vote for this

    person from this party?  And when you click on that vote button,

    again you will get this control code and you have to enter it.

    Says here as well, your PIN too.  Which is what we call the legally

    binding digital signature.  When you enter this, the result is --

    wait, I will stop sharing my screen for a second.  The result is

    this here.

        And so you get this message, hey, you voted successfully.  The

    vote arrived at the voting server.  There is a QR code where you

    can check whether your vote the way you made it arrived unchanged

    at the server.  If there was any attempt to change your vote.

    There was a notification that says hey if you feel like you were

    coerced, if you feel like there was any sort of influence from

    outside, you can change your vote.

        In Estonia every election period is 10 days long.  The first

    seven days are digital.  And so during those seven days you can

    vote again and again and again.  Obviously they don't count all of

    the votes, they only count the last one.  So you have that

    flexibility and if you feel like during those seven days you were

    always under pressure or under threat, you can still go vote on

    paper on election day and your paper vote will cancel the digital

    vote that you gave before.

        This has -- I mean there are different ways that we can

    discuss inclusivity.  In the last European parliamentary elections

    in 2019, 47.8% of all the votes that were cast were cast online.

    We did not see online voting drastically increase the voter

    participation rates.  So it turns out if you want to vote, you

    will.  If you don't want to vote, you still will not.

        Which is okay by our -- from our opinion.

        And what we have seen is that we -- we appeal to different

    groups more than to others with online voting.  So contrary to

    perhaps expectations that you have and we used to have, this is not

    about all the young people, all the urbanites voting online.  It's

    actually quite -- I don't want to say the opposite but it's a much

    more mixed picture.  Especially the elderly, statistically

    speaking, they live in more rural settings where the next polling

    station is further away.  Especially the elderly may have physical

    impairments that keep them from going to the next polling station.

        And also Estonia is a small country, 1.3 million people.  And

    we have around 35 embassies around the world.  So if you live in

    one of the countries that does not have an Estonia embassy, you're

    out of luck.  Right now the situation if you're an Estonian in

    Latin America if there was an election to cast a vote through an

    embassy, you would have to fly to Washington, D.C. and the truth is

    people will not do that.

        So online voting really especially for smaller countries, it

    helps rekindle relationships with Estonians abroad as well as with

    those that perhaps have trouble going to the physical polling

    station.  So yeah, that's just a very brief insight from Estonia,

    looking forward to your questions and also the other presentations.

    Thanks so much.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Florian, for this very interesting

    presentation of the system.  I think we all would like to hear a

    bit more and we'll have time to do that.

        Now I'll pass the floor to Meredith Applegate, who's a

    consultant Sri Lanka information desk.

        >> MEREDITH APPLEGATE:  Thank you so much.  Thank you all the

    organisers and my fellow panelists.  My name is Meredith Applegate.

    I'm a programme advisor for the international foundation for

    electoral systems currently based in Columbo.  So slightly warmer.

        Sorry, Florian, than Estonia at the moment.  I focus mostly on

    inclusion and electoral access.  And I was one of the co-authors of

    IFIS cornerstone paper on voting.  Follow a set of crucial

    international principles like transparency, accountability and

    inclusion.  For the purpose of my remarks today I'll focus mostly

    on this last principle, on the opportunities but also the

    significant risks that Internet voting provides that could either

    enable like Florian was talking about or actually deny the

    meaningful participation of marginalized communities.

        The UDHR, of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, requires

    that elections are held under the principles of universal and equal

    suffrage by secret vote.  Article 29 on the UN convention on rights

    of people with disabilities requires that voting procedures,

    facilities, and materials are accessible and new technologies are

    used when they're appropriate.  And Article 7 on the convention on

    the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women,

    states that state parties must do everything they can to eliminate

    discrimination against women in elections.

        But importantly, all of these stress the importance of

    secrecy, of nondiscrimination, and in the case of the CRPD,

    explicitly state that voters have to be free from intimidation.

        So Internet voting presents a really interesting tool in this

    case for election management when it comes to inclusion and access.

        So on the one hand, remote Internet voting, meaning voting

    from a personal device outside of a polling station or a controlled

    environment, potentially offers a range of really accessible

    options that would benefit a number of groups.

        So a remote voting Internet option could potentially provide

    populations with difficulty accessing a polling station or

    materials for any number of reasons, the ability to exercise their

    right to vote.  And these reasons could include climate,

    connectability disability, logistical challenge, the cost of

    traveling, or being part of a migrant diaspora population.

        And there are also benefits around independence and privacy

    when voters with disabilities in particular can vote from home.  So

    voters can use their own assistive device, like an adaptive

    keyboard or software.  Such as screen readers or voice recognition

    to mark the ballot.  Which is not necessarily available to them in

    a polling station.

        It's also important to note however that some of these

    benefits also apply to more traditional absentee voting methods

    such as mail-in ballots.  And if Internet voting is being offered

    as an option, while the polling station is still another option,

    all of these options have to be accessible.  So offering Internet

    voting does not get you off the hook for making a polling station


        However, remote Internet voting where poll workers are not

    present to control who enters a polling booth or whether or not

    external officials available to intervene when an electoral

    violation takes place can also have really devastating implications

    for the secrecy of the vote and for individual enfranchisement


        Violence against women has reached new heights under the

    COVID-19 pandemic.  A recent global study about UN women indicated

    that 1 out of 4 women state that household conflicts have become

    more frequent and that they feel more unsafe in their homes since

    COVID-19.  Women with disabilities and women with intersectional

    identities are even more likely to face violence.  And electoral

    observers even in a traditional election at the polling station

    struggle to report on gender-based electoral violence because so

    much of it does not take place in public spheres.

        And in a number of countries, family voting where a single

    member of the family illegally casts votes on behalf of other

    members of the family remains an issue.

        So by removing voting from a controlled environment, those who

    faced violence at home, violence being defined as physical,

    psychological, or economic violence, may face any number of

    scenarios that would impede their right to vote freely, secretly,

    safely, or even at all.

        An abusive partner could dictate how they cast their ballot.

    A family member could pressure them to vote in a certain way.

    Potentially with consequences if they do not.

        And these consequences could be physical violence, deprivation

    of finances or even a home, or the head of household could decide

    that it's not right or necessary for any of their family members to

    cast a vote at all.  And deprive them of the use of potentially a

    limited number of devices that are connected to the Internet.

    Estonia actually does a really interesting job to mitigate this

    coercion by counting only the last online ballot or allowing you to

    go to the polling station to have your vote -- your final vote is

    the only one that counts.  Which nullifies the Internet vote.  And

    this can allow people who are potentially coerced into voting for

    one candidate to go and change their vote.  Of course if they're

    able to travel to a polling station or vote again online.

        But ultimately there's no perfect solution against coercion if

    we're talking about a remote system.  And then we have to revert to

    voting in a polling station in a more standard environment where

    principles of secrecy and nondiscrimination are ultimately a lot

    easier to preserve.  So while there are a number of opportunities

    that Internet voting provides that could make elections a lot more

    accessible and inclusive for everyone, they are also a lot of

    really important risks to consider that any country or election

    management should take into account.

        Internet voting shouldn't just be instituted because it's a

    novelty, it should address many things and immense considerations

    made.  Holistic of the political, social and economic context of

    the country.  And this is not to say that there haven't been some

    successes for sure.

        But the experiences of one country do not necessarily

    translate to a success in another.  So thank you.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Meredith, for this heads-up and

    also interesting panorama about the conditions on global

    populations and social consequences that might appear when, you

    know, taking Internet voting.

        Now I would like to pass the floor to Apar Gupta, the

    executive director of the Internet with the foundation.  Just

    noticing that it's very interesting to have people from many parts

    of the world to check the experiences knowing that the problem must

    be addressed locally and there are different cultural issue,

    political issues, geographic issues as well.

        So it is been very interesting to hear you all.  So Apar, the

    floor is yours.  Thank you for coming as well.

        >> APAR GUPTA:  Thank you so much, Paulo, for inviting me for

    this conversation.  I've learned a lot from the remarks of the

    previous panelists.  And there's a lot of local context which

    supports the points of Rodrigo, Meredith and Florian.  There

    is utility in remote voting through online methods, amount of

    concerns as well.  And I hopefully I'll be providing some local

    context in terms of what are those particular developments which

    are occurring in India, given that it's rapidly embracing

    digitization.  Stepping towards that, like to state certain

    fundamental understandings about the electoral system in India.

        The elections in India held by authority called election

    commission of India, which has three commissioners.  And the

    general elections are held every five years.  It happens to be one

    of the largest exercises in the world, in fact.

        It's presently done through a form of in-person electronic

    balloting.  Through electronic machines which are -- which count

    the ballot choice of each individual in designated areas.  Which is

    spread all across the country.  So it takes sometimes weeks for

    general elections to be conducted.

        The principal bases for the electronic voting has been to --

    to underline and to underline that the costs which are involved in

    general elections -- even in the state elections, because we are a

    federal country, can be reduced to online voting which will be a

    much more scaleable -- which will be a much more scaleable

    implementation.  And second, the time also which takes -- to

    conduct the polls, as well as to poll the ballots can be reduced.

        So the argument's quite often are made not only toward

    inclusiveness, which may happen in certain specific geographies but

    it's also towards efficiency.  But do they actually match our

    practical experience.

        Now at present about six days ago the Union Minister for Home

    Affairs, Mr. Kiren Rijiju, responded in Parliament that there's at

    present no pending proposal received from the election commission

    for conducting online voting for the 2024 general elections.

    However, we do notice a movement towards it in a recent pilot which

    was implemented on 20th of October in a district in Telangana

    state.  Now the initiative for the voting system was taken by the

    Telangana state election, for the local board election.  And it

    developed an application which includes voters' name and matches it

    to their aadhaar card.

        The aadhaar is the Indian national biometric system which has

    fingerprint and iris scans already alongside the demographic

    details of a person.  And there by utilizes biometric

    authentication to establish the identity of a person who is

    asserting it.

        Now, it also -- this application in addition to matching a

    voter's name to the archive cards also implemented a live detection

    of individual through matching their face with the electoral photo

    identity card.  So there's a second database.  The First Data base

    is the national I.D. database, the second electronic database is

    the election commission's own database of registered voters.  And

    underlie lining this importance because we also need to understand

    that the national I.D. database to some extent will be talking to

    the electoral database.  And a technical audit with respect to

    this, at this present point in time, has not fully been done as to

    what will be the data exchanges which will be involved as well.

        Now, in addition to this, other voting app. will also be used

    to record voting.  For the authentication of the ballot voter the

    process will have -- and I'm reading from the press release -- it

    will match the name associated with the card, the liveness

    detection of the card and matching image corresponding with

    electoral photo identity card database.  The databases are being

    pulled together inside the application, and there is every

    possibility it results in some kind of record which is also taken.

        Now, since elections necessarily deal with extensive voting

    information, including address, party affiliation, birth date and

    many much more things, what is important to point out is that India

    does not have a data protection law which applies either with

    respect to gender data protection or even with respect to the

    conduct of such online voting mechanisms through smart phone


        And it is imperative to us that how eve would the PSEC vote

    app. which is this voting app. be in recording the voting in light

    of privacy concerns and the need for confidentiality and the

    secrecy of the ballot.  Which is quite important in places such as


        Now, in respect of this, there also other legal objections

    coming.  For instance India's national digital I.D. has been ruled

    by the Supreme Court not to be made mandated.  It is -- it can only

    be demanded in specific circumstances where establishing a person's

    identity is necessary and it needs to have a foundational framework

    of a legal authorization.  And then have a three-prong satisfaction

    of standards of necessity, of legitimate purpose and

    proportionality.  None of this exists.  There is no underlying law

    even for these pilots at present.

        And also you can also examine that the additional data fields

    which are being taken, for instance the liviness image is being

    taken of a person, which will invariably involve a level of facial

    recognition -- where does this go, how long will it be retained?

    How will it work?

        All of these concerns may draw a very large question mark as

    to the safety of voting.

        And in places such as India, where you have large amounts of

    sectarian based division based on identity politics as well as a

    person's religion, caste, language, and gender, this can have very,

    very strong impacts in terms of undermining the confidence of

    people to actually vote by itself.

        So I just wanted to bring this up.

        And in -- and you know, these opinions by my -- are not my

    own -- are not my own opinions.  To a large extent these concerns

    have also been voiced by formal chief election commissioners.

    Essentially people who are -- who were at the head of the election

    commission and have now stated for instance, Mr. Kurichi has stated

    specific to this specific deployment, quote-unquote that it is a

    dicey proposition because elections are conducted with a total

    trust of voters, political parties and the candidates at large.

    First one has to see if during the voting, the voting I.D., the

    environment, in brackets, that is to say if there's any coercion

    and the security of ballots cost.

        Counted in the time of counting augmented.

        So what I would say is our experience in India to a large

    extent has been that any kind of digitization which is ruled out

    can result in very -- in new problems being presented.  For

    instance with online voting it can reside in exclusion, it can

    reside in fake votes as well.  And until the technology matures to

    a reasonable extent in very critical state functions such as

    voting, it would be a point of undermining trust of people towards

    exercising their ballot.  Thank you.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you very much, Apar.  You bring up very

    interesting idea of connected issues that also have relation to the

    adoption of electronic online digital voting, one which are very

    important for us to have in mind.  Just to remind you all, I know

    that there already are questions from the onsite audience.  But now

    I'd like to quickly go back to the panelists to see if they have

    any comments, additions, on what have been said about the five

    contributions we had here.

        So I think many topics were raised.  Topics that connects

    different expertise and so on.  So I would like to know if Rodrigo,

    if you have any comments or addition on any other contribution or

    you want -- you would like to complement something that you have

    already said.  So between three and five minutes.  And after

    there's another round we'll go for the contributions from the

    audience on-site or the online audience as well.  So thank you


        >> RODRIGO SILVA:  I have.  Thank you.  Thanks so much.

        Some little points.

        First, it's a -- the election in Brazil, I'm -- I think it's

    needed to change.  First it changed the legislation.  The electoral

    process do not need to be one day.  Like today.

        Second, the rule may be official in areas with few voters.

    Finally, we needed to -- we needed to digital identity to learn

    like Estonia's model.  It's very good.

        And the challenges about the i vote system, the fellow's

    family say, firstly, new technologies in elections need to look to

    the process technology, and the people involved.  It's a -- really

    important to say that.

        Second, don't forget that out of this is under the (?) View of

    the internal election process technology assistance regulations.

    And of course politics.  And voting or any average model cannot

    transfer the responsibility of security, trust we are facing, or

    credibility to technology only.  It's my (?) For my speech.

        I would like to...to have the questions to Florian.  Florian,

    in 2018, 2019, in 19 -- 2019, this electronic vote is only part of

    electoral process?

        In Estonia and other countries have the same dilemma of the

    lack of transparency and -- of the elective process.

        Do you understand that Estonia trusts the i-voting process?

    Do you believe that equation in the electoral process can be

    avoided by technology?

        I'm done.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Rodrigo.  So I will pass that away

    to Florian who can answer Rodrigo and also add some topics your

    several.  It's up to you.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  I will reply to the question first and

    raise one and a half points myself.

        So the question of trust, partially I think comes inherently

    from Estonians' positive experience over the last 20 years.  If

    something has been working really well and the government has

    always been quite transparent if and when something does go wrong,

    that you just have this open communication between the government

    and the public.  I think that's very important.

        And with regards to the trust in the online voting system

    itself, that's something I forgot to mention during my

    presentation.  I will share my screen for literally 10 seconds.

        The source code for the online voting platform is also public.

    It's on GitHub right now.  So if you are an IT specialist and you

    want to, you know, dig into how exactly the votes are being

    delivered and counted and tripped on its own, you can.  This is

    actually part of our international observer protocol as well.

    Because we have international observer, not just for the paper

    votes but also for the online voting.

        And I think -- I think what helps build the trust in the

    system is that it's an option.  So we're not forcing anyone to vote

    online.  If you don't believe in the process, that's okay.  Vote on

    paper.  So it's just one of the options that we provide.

        The one point that I wanted to add sort of in agreement with

    Apar, is that of course new systems also raise new problems and new

    challenges that we didn't have to discuss beforehand.  One of the

    things with online voting, where also Estonia had to make a choice

    was either do we value the secrecy and the privacy of the vote

    itself, or do we enable end-to-end accountability?  So making sure

    that I can verify that my vote really was counted.

        And so we came down on the side of privacy of the votes.  So

    you can only check that -- so in Estonia with a QR code you can

    only check that your vote successfully arrived at the voting

    server.  Over there your identity is being separated of course from

    the vote before it is being counted and processed.

        So this is a decision that every country would have to make

    one way or another.

        And the point that I want to add on top of this is very

    simple.  Let's make sure that we measure any innovation, any new

    system by the same standards that we put to the old systems.

        So let us not try to expect any God's work that paper voting

    itself hasn't provided for centuries.

        Quite to the contrary I would say they can be very

    complimentary with each other, just as they are in Estonia.

        So yeah, it is -- there's no need to push anyone online.  It's

    perfectly fine if it's an option.  And it helps solve some problems

    that paper voting has.  And paper voting still exists in case you

    have any issues with the potential short-comings of online voting.


        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks a lot, Florian.  So Meredith is --

    would you approach your issue now.

        >> MEREDITH APPLEGATE:  Thank you.  I learned so much from

    this discussion.  I'm really grateful for my other panelists.  One

    thing that I think was really interesting because it came up in

    several remarks is how important the digital I.D. system is.  And

    an electronic civil registry and that it's essentially required for

    a successful Internet voting system.  And I think it's also

    something to think about when you talk about inclusion.  Because in

    so many countries marginalized communities, for example voters with

    disabilities, internally displaced populations, are much less

    likely to have identification or access to birth certificate


        So Estonia has an incredible architecture for digital

    identification and an immense civil registry.  But for countries

    that do not have this infrastructure in place, looking at how

    that's an essential aspect of Internet voting is really crucial.

    And also looking at if you're going to digitize your civil registry

    in order to have Internet voting, who is going to be missing?  And

    who is most likely to be missing from that registry?

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Meredith.

        So now we're to Apar.  So Apar, do you have -- you have your

    second round.

        >> APAR GUPTA:  I like to pass on and invite -- back.  So I

    went last and I had opportunity already to factor in from the

    panelist remarks.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Okay.  No problem.  So I know that there's a

    question from the audience.  There's Alexander Zagny, who said that

    would like to share the Russian i-voting experience.  But I'm not

    quite sure if it's -- he's on-site or online.  I guess he's

    on-site.  So if Alexander is there --

        >> ALEXANDER:  Yes, I'm on site.  Hello.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Alexander, if you could share with

    us in five minutes your experience.  Thank you for your


        >>  ALEXANDER:  Well, a few minutes if I get too long just

    inform me about this.

        So Russia have two years of online voting experience.  As

    the -- Russia have stated -- state services portal where nearly

    each citizen have possibility to get log-in and password.  And this

    is mainly used as main identification.

        We already -- trying to observe -- we already got the

    following issues.  First of all, the system -- and we actually have

    two systems.  Moss co-is a country inside a country, has its own

    electronic voting system.  And last year the federal state election

    commission developed its own system.  So last elections, this

    September, we had two working electronic voting systems.

        Both of these systems are not transparent.  So technical task

    for development of this system have not been published.  So we do

    not know how these systems are organised internally.

        Bits of code have been published on GitHub but mostly the Web

    interface of the systems.  There is no possibility to watch how the

    watch list has been formed.  It is said that it's except of least

    offline voters.  But there is no public possibility to check it.

    Also, unlike standard observation at elections when you have

    possibility to see how or what commission is checking I.D.s, and

    you have a transparent ballot box at the polling station, the

    system is not transparent enough.

        It is said that blockchain is being used.  But what we see in

    the published code, some of an official information, blockchain is

    used just like database.  So it does not have traditional bitcoin

    or public blockchain issues.

        Also modern mathematical methods for protecting voting secrecy

    have been used.  Like two agencies develop or it's developments

    like (?) Protocols.  So some would -- voting results with

    anonymized votes have been published publicly.  And it was made

    statistical analysis saying that winners pro-governmental

    candidates gets very strange pattern of votes casted.  Like on

    Sunday there was a launch of voters for governmental candidates.

    So we see that really, really difficult to observe and effect

    development of such system in somehow some hybrid or authoritarian


        The situation is still in development because during the

    latest elections, opposition candidates won on the paper voting

    stations, but lost because of electronic voting.  They send -- they

    claim to the courts and it appears -- because there are lead --

    really little number of official documents related to electronic

    voting.  Russian courts just ignore any argument related for

    electronic votings or issues in transparency.

        So situation is on development.

        I'm a member of civil audit of this situation.  We're trying

    to collect document, collect opinions.  And I hope maybe we will

    make -- will be possible to make a final report or statements to

    the spring.

        So if you have questions on issues of Russian electronic

    voting, please feel free to ask.

        Also I would like to say -- thank Estonian colleague, because

    after Russian elections we were able to go to Estonian elections as

    part of -- and observing missions and we definitely can say that

    Estonia elections are much more observable, much more transparent

    than Russian.  While Russian propaganda was promising that Russian

    elections are much more transparent and fairer than Estonia.

        We have seen that Estonia elections are definitely much more

    transparent than Russians.  If organisers would like, I can contact

    them and provide more information.  And if you maybe have any

    questions to me during the further discussion, please feel free.

    I'm here in session.  Thank you.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you very much, Alexander, for your

    contribution.  I think it's very interesting.  And I would invite

    everyone if they want to share their contacts in the chat, that

    would be interesting.  Later on we'll be writing our emails and

    this can serve as point of contact to everyone who wants to know

    more in and get in touch to discuss further those issues.

        I -- I'm not sure if Alexander's point was the point that was

    mentioned previously to me from another question of the on-site


        I would like to ask if there's any on-site question besides


        Is there?

        >> Okay.  First of all thank all of you for demonstrating your

    points.  So my question is namely to the presenter from Estonia.

    And I'll clarify why.

        So I'm from Georgia.  And last two elections in Georgia have

    been very important and also controversial.  And there is an

    opinion that in case we digitalize the elections, few points will

    be fixed.  But then about digitalization of elections there is one


        The concern of security; and this is the point why I ask to

    Estonian.  So from which point does the concern of security arises?

        So there is two key points.  First of all, Georgia faced,

    alongside with conventional warfare, cyber attack from Russia in

    2008.  And secondly, Russia enjoys meddling in the elections of

    other countries as well.

        So as we know, Estonia also faced cyber offensive from Russia

    in 2007 at of scandal of bronze soldier statue.  And my question is

    how much debate did they have about digitalization of electoral

    system.  Do they feel secure now in terms of another cyber

    offensive, or meddling in terms of electoral processes?

        And what would be the recommendation or suggestion to Georgia

    in the similar case?  Thank you.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  That's a lot of questions.  Yeah.  You

    mentioned the 2007 cyber attacks by a country that we officially do

    not know who it was.  And it's worth pointing out that, yeah, we

    had online voting before.  So 2005.  So the practice had already

    been established that it's possible and it's just another service.

        The effect of the 2007 attacks was primarily the lesson that

    we saw that our systems worked.  It was primarily different kinds

    of (?) Attack, basically trying to overload servers with a lot

    of -- a lot of access requests.  There has been no -- not a single

    data breach or incident of data copying or changing from government

    databases or citizens' data.

        So that was -- overall it was a good sort of crisis

    communication test.  But it was not an incident that would have

    made the population or politicians question whether on the right or

    wrong path.

        As a reaction to those attacks in 2008 the NATO cyber security

    centre of excellence was found in Gallen.  So we're sharing our

    experience through those channels with all different kinds of nay

    NATO member the and affiliated states.

        About the Georgian experience and what we are all practicing

    to this day is white hat hacking.  So you know, paying people to

    check whether your systems are as secure as you would like them to

    be or as you believe them to be.

        And also I think the transparency of the source code really

    does help.  It's understanding that for many countries it's very

    tempting to develop things behind closed doors and then just push

    them live.  But the more of your source code is public, the more

    you give other people the opportunity to find potential problems.

        If you have just development team in-house of 10 people, that

    work on this for a year or two, there is a risk that you have a

    mole inside of that team.  So an intentional weakness.  There is

    the potential have a somebody just missed something and nobody sees

    the source code.  So you only find out when it's too late.

        So going transparent and testing your own systems through

    third party providers I think that's a very important combination.

    And I encourage you to go ahead with it.  Thanks.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Florian.  I would like to ask if

    there's any other questions from the audience on-site.  If not,

    okay, I think theres one.  Sorry, I cannot see very well.  Because

    it's very far away, the camera.

        >>  ALEXANDER:  Hey, what's up?  Yeah, I had to be fast

    because people here are very interested.

        So I'm -- another Alexander, I'm Brazilian.  I'm really

    excited for the discussion because I think it's fascinating.  I

    think in 50 years from now the technology is exciting, will be

    able, you know, mathematically to encrypt the vote and also have

    the transparency as well.

        But I think what my colleagues here are bringing up is that

    very social aspect, you know.  We see countries like Estonia and

    Switzerland experimenting with online voting and it seems to be

    going very well.

        But if we think for larger democracies, where there's a lot of

    mistrust and political bias and politicians, populists trying to

    utilize, undermine the trust on the system.  So I like to hear a

    little bit of what are the social implications that adopting these

    online voting systems could have.  And you know the big democracies

    that we see.  Because if a tiny detail goes wrong, it could have

    like -- it could be catastrophe.  So I think it's fascinating all

    the examples from the colleagues over there.  And like to

    congratulate all of you for sharing.  It's really interesting to

    have you know, voting for several days and trying to give people

    the options to avoid coercion.  But I like to hear a little bit of

    the take on the social impact and political impact that online

    voting could have.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Alexander.  I would just like to

    ask if maybe we can take a word from Meredith and Apar about the

    issue about the social impacts and examples you have seen in terms

    of what kind of -- how careful we need to be in terms of adopting

    such technologies in context.  They are slightly different from the

    ones we have we previously listened to.

        So I think if you agree, Meredith and Apar, will contribute

    with this question.  Thanks a lot.

        >> MEREDITH APPLEGATE:  Would you like me to go first, Apar,

    or do you want to jump in?

        I think it's really an important question, because across all

    types of the election process, the perception of fraud can be just

    as damaging as fraud itself.  And the same goes for trust and


        So even if you have a really robust and secure system, if

    there's a really fragile trust in the institution and how the

    process works, it really doesn't matter how secure your system is.

    Because the loser will tear it apart.  And the public may believe


        And there's some really interesting public survey information

    that we did in Ukraine which was just sort of asking the public,

    you know, would you -- do you think that online voting would be a

    good idea?

        And you know, about I think 30% of them said sure.  And then

    if you asked them next do you think it's safe?

        And only 20% thought it was safe.  So if you're going to have

    to do Internet voting, you have to address issues of public trust

    through really robust outreach campaigns, by doing things that

    Estonia does really well, extreme levels of transparency.  But

    again if your government is not transparent to start with, then

    you're already really, really fighting an up-hill battle when it

    comes to introducing any type of new technology, but particularly

    Internet voting.  Apar over to you.

        >> APAR GUPTA:  Thank you so much.  The social element comes

    important.  Because we don't implement technology for the thrill of

    technology itself.  It's not about the novelty of the process.  I

    also acknowledge that we should consider fairly objectively marking

    out the impacts and the positive value it brings.  Contrasting it

    with paperless ballots as well.  But there is a middle point there

    as well.  We have gone towards electronic voting machines, or EVMs

    in the middle.  And it has reduced cost, it has increased the --

    the facility of the election commission of India to count the

    results in a small -- shorter period of time.

        And even with that, there are large amount of question marks

    which are raised again and again.  So the first point is actually

    transparency.  In existing frameworks where there's a lack of

    transparency, and it is compromised in certain state systems, then

    you cannot proceed ahead with degree of reliability and trust in

    the system itself.  Because even with the electronic voting

    machines, the argument which has been adopted by the election

    commission of Indian has been security by secrecy.  We won't allow

    audits, we won't give the machines out to independent researchers.

    And that ensures that the machines by themselves are secure.

    Because nobody knows about them.  But machines are also stolen.

    And we know about this.  Because it is reported in the press.

        So you need a higher degree of establishment of trust in the

    system through regular amounts of checks which are done technically

    in terms of audit processes.

        Now, above and beyond the technicality, why is it important in

    a social context is that then people have a sense of faith.  That

    then they are going and exercising their ballot, whether in a

    polling booth or they're sitting on their smart phone, it counts.

    And if that doesn't happen, they start -- in fact removing

    themselves from the electronic process largely.

        The second issue I want to bring up is that electronic voting

    even when it will be made let's say consensual, completely in a

    country like India, you need to take into account that the cost of

    average smart phone is a person's one month salary.

        And this is as for the -- the lines for affordable Internet.

    Even in a consensual system where higher income groups can afford

    the smart phone will vote, you may have a degree of resource

    deployment which will constrain the amount of physical votes which

    are there.  So the physical votes which are there for the 2024

    elections will not be the same in number, same in facilities.  Same

    in security deployment, in 2034.  Ten years later because the state

    will restrict its budgetary allocation for physical polling,

    relying onion line voting by saying that it serves greater degrees

    of efficiency, and more people can vote and the voting percentages

    are increasing.

        But that will be voting percentages from higher income groups.

    People who are in metropolitan areas.  And why I can foresee

    this -- and I say this is a reasonable hypothetical, because you

    have seen the same amount of technocratic implementation in other

    skate schemes where anytime you introduce any form of digitization,

    it displaces existing system without the objective audit as to the

    benefits which are resulting for people.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you, Apar.  Can you all hear me?

        I just have a sign -- okay.  Nice.  Thanks a lot.

        Just a quick -- add a quick note to comment a bit on the

    question of the social consequences for that.

        In Brazil we have like parts of the territories in big cities,

    and in the Countryside which are controlled by militias, political

    militias who actually gives in many cases the Internet connection

    and provide Internet services for a big part of the population.  So

    it's important that you all mention how complex in terms of not

    only the strong legislation that guarantees, you know, the personal

    data, but also culturally, you know, it's different to see -- I

    mean in Brazil for example we have one Sunday election.  So every

    elections is done in one Sunday where people go out from their

    houses to the polling stations and then back.  And then the result

    is made one hour, one hour and a half after the poll is finishes.

        In some cases, for example in India, you have, you know, days

    running the electoral process.

        And it's important to note as well that any modification and

    adoption of new technologies should accompany this sort of logistic

    and cultural aspect so people can understand and have confidence in

    the process.  So I think this is a great take from the contribution

    of you all.

        I think -- I would like just to -- I know that Alexander said

    he could reply on also political implications.  And I thank you

    Alexander, but before that I would like also to see -- I understand

    that there is some people who want to have contributions who

    haven't got the chance to contribute before.

        Not sure if online or, on-site, is there anyone who wants to

    contribute a little bit who haven't done it before?

        I don't think so, right?  So Alexander, yes, up to you.

        >>  Hi.  Sorry.

        >> PAULO LARA:  There's one.

        >>  I'm Bahia, I'm going to have a quick question maybe if --

    can answer it.  We already talked about security implementation of

   an online voting system.  I would be interested in resources and

    costs.  So are they transparent?  How much did it cost to implement

    this or like even percentage.  Because I think that's always a big

    problem.  And it seems like a good opportunity to have both.

        But of course it seems to be quite a -- maybe not an

    affordable for a lot of countries.  So thank you.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  I'll take that straight away, yes?

        >> PAULO LARA:  Please, Florian and then we can go back to

    Alexander on site.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  This is one of the biggest

    misunderstandings, digitization only works in smaller countries

    because of cost.  Estonia was a dirt poor post Soviet organisation

    when it started in 1991.  Seen as a cost saver.  The average online

    vote today is around 50% the cost of the average physical vote.

        All of these different polling stations, some of them are in

    schools, some of them are in the Countryside, some of them in the

    most expensive shopping centres, just to be accessible to people.

        You know, they're expensive.

        And staff, you know, some of them are volunteers, some of them

    are not.  So these things cost money as well.  And we've seen that

    in Estonia, it roughly -- you know, it's halved the cost of the

    average vote and the beauty of technology is that it's scaleable.

    So the per capita investment in Estonia will be several times

    higher than it would be if it was implemented in India.  Because

    you know, we have to build -- set up the same kind of server

    hardware, we have to put the same amount of time into programming

    and encryption and so on.  Of course India will need an if you more

    servers for the millions of people and the data connection, so on.

        But overall the investment for bigger countries, such as

    Germany, would be per capita a lot lower than they were for


        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks, Florian.  Now over to on-site again I

    guess is Alexander.  Right?  Over to you.  Thanks.

        >> Alexander:  Yeah.  I will start answering previous

    question.  Actually for a bigger countries, implementation of

    electronic voting systems a fraction of physical voting.  And this

    leads to one of the main political consequences in Russia.  In

    Russia we have about 98,000 electoral commissions.  With average

    ten people in commission.

        So for sure electronic voting will be much cheaper because

    it's, well, form one or two commissions only by number of regions,

    80 regions.  But now if you need to fake results to -- well,

    provide good results for Mr. Putin, you have to deal with eight --

    with 98,000 electoral commissions.

        And actually each region is competing who's providing the

    better result.  But in this case if they have mechanisms providing

    great results for elections of Mr. Putin, they have -- they can use

    the same mechanism for providing result for themselves.  So local


        And we have a league for presidential administration.  That's

    presidential administrations in Russia expect that now they can

    fake result centrally.  From -- from the -- with one point.  That's

    actually makes terrified local governments, and members -- numbers

    of political consult tans that who understand now is a job worth

    nothing.  Because they can be adjusted.  Actually there is not a

    political implication because central administrations now, when the

    results are fake -- are faked through thousands of electoral

    commissions, they do not know real results of voting.  Does not

    know real opinion.

        Local governor or something like.  Now they expect when they

    have electronic voting, they have ability to know the real results,

    real opinion of people.

        But replaces from the centre and have what do they expect?

        This is not clear or understand by the larger audience.  By

    the large community.  But the people who already understand it,

    like political consultants, they have real inflation for political


        So we already -- not know final results of what happens

    especially after this near -- fakes.  But we still observes

    implementation and awaiting next year.  Thanks.

        >> PAULO LARA:  I think Florian wants to add something.  And I

    guess Rafaela has something afterwards?

        >> RAFAELA DE ALCANTARA:  Yes.  Maybe I can ask afterwards.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Over to Florian and then a question -- Florian

    and then Meredith and then Rafaela.  Thank you.  Florian over to


        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  I wanted to make a very small addition

    because I hate not having precise answers.  There's a wonderful

    research paper called how much does an e-vote cost?

        And it's an analysis of the Estonian case.  So the elect day

    voting on paper cost per ballot is 4 Euros and 37 cents.  Advance

    voting in such a paper way can be up to 20 Euros and 41 cents.  And

    the average online vote costs 2 Euros and 32 cents, so he that's

    just to give you an idea of the sort of numbers we're talking

    about.  Thanks.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks, a lot, Florian.  Meredith?

        >> MEREDITH APPLEGATE:  Thanks.

        >> I also sort of wanted to talk a little bit about cost.  And

    especially countries that are just starting out on sort of their

    digital transformation journey or considering new electoral


        .  Because cost eventually do and can reduce over time.  But

    there is an initial and major investment.  And particularly when

    you think about staff training.  Voter outreach, the amount of

    information needed to share with the public, particularly in

    countries with low amounts of trust.  And then if you have sort of

    elements that help sort of discourage coercion or have a backup

    against coercion, you also still have your polling stations open in

    addition to the Internet vote.

        So Internet voting, if it was by itself could potentially over

    time be cheaper, but if you have these contingencies to ensure that

    people are able to vote freely and change their vote at a polling

    station if they want to, it's not always necessarily cheaper, in my


        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you.  Not sure -- Rodrigo, you want to

    add something before Rafaela's question, or...

        >> RODRIGO SILVA:  Yes, I have.  Florian.  These values, but

    the values do not include the technology, right?

        The paper saves just about the -- the administration, the

    paper and the implementation, physical implementation, not

    technology, right?  Because technology is so expensive.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  No, as far as I understand, it's about the

    IT systems that were set up specifically for online voting as well.

    It does of course not include the running costs of electronic

    identities.  Because electronic identities are used for 99 percent

    of government services in Estonia.  So that would not be quite so

    fair.  But yeah, it includes the technology for that particular


        >> RODRIGO SILVA:  Yeah, I think sort of all technology

    processes includes cryptocurrency, and it is cheap and other --

    the -- are so expensive.  But I understand.  Okay.  Thank you.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thank you.  So Rafaela, over to you.

        >> RAFAELA DE ALCANTARA:  Yeah.  Thank you so much.  I'm

    learning a lot today.  Thank you.

        And I'd like to ask a question for Meredith.

        Thinking about the domestic violence and how this time is

    sensitive in such a -- in other parts of the world.  I'd like to

    ask you if you could deepen a little bit more on regard to thinking

    domestic violence, thinking i-voting in the context in each,

    domestic violence is a reality.

        And referring not only to gender violence but also -- but I

    think that maybe ageism can be thinking -- can be an aspect that

    should be assessed in this regard.  Thank you so much.

        >> MEREDITH APPLEGATE:  Thank you.  That's a really thoughtful

    question.  And all of those are very valid points.  When you think

    of domestic violence, I focussed some of my remarks on violence

    against women.  But violence of all forms in the home has been

    increasing and spiking as people experience the stress of COVID,

    the stress of unemployment.  And you've seen a resulting violence,

    you've seen people losing their homes and moving in with more

    family members.  So homes are oftentimes more crowded, with fewer


        And you're absolutely right that abuse of older people, abuse

    of people with disabilities, ageism, ableism have all been on the

    rise.  It hasn't been a great pandemic for many of these issues.

    And they continue to worsen.

        When you look at any system that's remote, where you don't

    have an objective person who can secure your right to secrecy, to

    privacy, it's obviously a threat in context especially like that.

        Because the consequences will never be seen.  Because so much

    of domestic violence, whether it's gender-based or otherwise, goes


        Significantly underreported.  And then underprosecuted.  So

    it's very unlikely that you'll ever get statistics that say I was

    coerced by my husband, or by my son or daughter, even.  Into voting

    a certain way because I am, you know, a survivor of abuse.

        The reporting will just not be there.  Because historically it

    has never been there.  So it is a real problem.  And it's one that

    has to be considered when you're talking about, you know, a human

    right such as voting freely and safely.

        >> PAULO LARA:  That's a lot.  Meredith.  Can you guys hear


        Okay.  Cool.  Because it was frozen here.

        Yes, thanks a lot.

        I believe that there's no further questions from the on-site.

    I would like you to -- I mean, we do have still -- we still have 15

    minutes of debate.  There's no other questions from the on-site

    audience.  I would like to propose that we have a final round

    amongst the panelists and it will be interesting to get to know

    precisely and direct things that you would like to -- that you

    think are important for the discussion and for adopting such kind

    of technologies.  I'm thinking here for example who's responsible

    for developing those technologies and implementing?

        In Brazil we do have the superior electoral court.  I see

    there's someone on the on-site so I'll open up to you.  Just after

    I finish.  Thanks a lot.

        But if it's possible, a round amongst participants to include

    precise recommendations for those who are thinking about adopting

    and -- adopting e-voting and also thinking on electoral processes

    and its relation with technology.  I'll hand it over to the

    question.  The floor is over to you.

        >> MAXIMUM:  I want to add something.  Thank you.

        My name is Maximum and I am from Belarus.  It's near

    Alexandra, Russia.  We have another problem.  And I want to share

    the information about us and about the electoral -- electronic


        As you -- as you know, I think we have mass protests in our

    country which were the first mass -- really mass protests for 25,

    26 years.

        And one of the main reason for these protest was the

    involvement of a large amount of people in political issues.

    People believes all the time -- believed all the time that election

    doesn't -- doesn't solve anything.  We have only one president for

    all years.  But private initiative goals made them parallel system

    of voting.  People who went to electoral -- no -- for voting

    places, they photo their bulletin -- they're voting papers.  And

    send them to the central platform.

        And...these involve over 20% of people.  20% of people was --

    was involved in private initiative of collecting votes.  And

    according to all -- to the -- to this and other information, we --

    we believe that our president Tsikhanouskaya, I think you know.

        And the most interesting part of this electronic initiative

    was increasing them interest of voting, of taking part in voting,

    or taking part in election company for many people who don't --

    who -- who haven't voted for many, many, many years.

        And these -- I feel -- I think these experience may be -- will

    be interesting for other countries which want to change situation.

        Because then people want to -- want to change things, and they

    I think believe even private initiatives, private platforms.

        And it was very interesting -- it was very interesting

    platform, it was very interesting station.  All the people who work

    there now in -- not in Belarus, around all the world.  And our

    struggle is continuing.  Thank you very much.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks a lot.  It's very interesting to see

    that the engagement on the discretion comes from a context where

    the political debate is very strong and there are some difficulties

    in terms of, you know, maintaining the democracy and so on.  I

    speak from Brazil and we are having difficulties, there's

    contributions from Russia, Belarus, et cetera.  And I thank you all

    for the interesting discussion.  I will give this over to the panel

    gists and if you want to address any remaining issues.  And if

    possible think of what could be the main contributions to the

    debate in your views and your areas of expertise.  So we can have a

    nice report and go on with the conversation.

        Rafaela is going to also add our emails on the chat.  So if

    you want to see -- and get to know more about work on the issues,

    it will be very interesting for us to keep a contact with all of

    you who are interested in this topic.  Because we've gone -- we're

    going to keep having works on the issue for the next year.  So

    thanks a lot.  And I will follow the -- I think the same order of

    the beginning.  So I'll start with Rodrigo.  So the floor is yours,

    Rodrigo.  Thanks.

        >> RODRIGO SILVA:  Thank you very much to share this moment in

    view.  And my fellow panelists.  And last to words about this topic

    is hot topic, it's important to say in our system, or I-vote has

    100% end to end for verifiability.  It's not possible today.  And

    I-votes, it's not enough to appear to be trustful of -- but to be


        It's important.  So my pleasure, again.  My final and -- keep

    in touch everyone.

        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks a lot, Rodrigo for your contribution.

    So over to Florian.

        >> FLORIAN MARCUS:  Yeah.  Thanks a lot.  I just want to

    keep -- or just want to finish effectively on the note of maturity.

    And where we should touch very carefully.  Because it means

    different things to different people.  But maturity in two ways.

    Number one in order for Internet voting to work, probably you need

    some digital maturity.  This means probably you need an electronic

    identity.  Probably you need secure data exchange.  In Estonia

    that's called the X road if you're interested.  It's also open

    source; but yeah.  So data exchange is important.  Cyber hygiene

    from the population side.  If people don't know how to use

    computers in a safe manner, then we have a problem.

        So these are things that you know, are topics for Estonia.

    And I would be surprised if they weren't on the wish list for

    Christmas on other countries, you know, minds as well.

        And then also, yeah, there's the question of societal

    maturity.  Democratic maturity.  And I -- we had a delegation from

    a slightly less democratic or stable country recently.  And they

    asked, yes, so how do you verify that at the end of the day, when

    all the votes are counted, that that's actually the correct result?

    And my answer was, well, you know, we have this electoral

    commission, and the courts look over it for a second.  And then

    also we have observers from all the different political parties.

        That is not an option if you have -- even if it's a democracy,

    but effectively a one-party rule where the same party has been in

    power for the last 30 years even though elections are contested,

    per se.  So there are different factors that we have to take into

    account.  And that contributes to the success or the inevitable

    demise of an attempt at online voting.  And -- sorry, yes, you can

    add me on LinkedIn, if you want.  Thanks.  Bye.

        >> PAULO LARA:  That's great.  Thanks a lot.  Meredith?

        >> MEREDITH APPLEGATE:  Thanks.  And thanks again to all of

    the participants and those who spoke.  And also to the panelists.

    This has been I think a really interesting discussion.

        Beyond some of the things that have already been touched on

    regarding being transparent, and sort of digital maturity, as it

    was phrased, so looking at what your level of digital literacy in

    the population is, what kind of civil registration system you have.

    I would also just sort of go to the base question, which is what

    sort of problem in your election are you trying to solve?

        And is Internet voting the correct solution for that problem?

        So sort of taking a more holistic view instead of technology

    for the purpose of technology.

        Look at really what issues you want to address and then figure

    out which tools will best address them.

        And then if you do decide to pilot new technology or introduce

    new technology like Internet voting, testing real consultations

    especially with women's group, disability rights groups, people who

    will know who are being left out, who will be having issues with

    these systems.

        And then you know, trial on a nonlive election.  Real

    analysis.  And do not rush would be my advice and my


        >> PAULO LARA:  Great.  Thanks a lot, Meredith, for your

    participation and insightful thoughts.

        Apar, over to you.  Please.

        >> APAR GUPTA:  Thank you so much.  This conversation has

    provided me a lot of perspective also when do such systems also

    work.  And what can be certain guiding principles around.

        I think this kind of a panel on the -- or especially in which

    people from different jurisdictions are sharing experiences can

    also lead to much more collaborative frameworks, for identification

    of common principles around online and electronic voting.  And I

    think that can be a starting point for essentially ensuring some

    degree of standardization as we all first believe in the value of

    democracy and free and fair elections.  I think that's one

    suggestion I would just like to make.

        Possibly this panel can spur a greater degree of conversation

    amongst participants around -- or even attendees to promote some

    kind of frameworks, common principles around online voting, which

    can be discussed much more international forums, much more


        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks a lot, Apar.

        I would like to truly thank everyone for their contributions.

    The on-site audience has been amazing.  Our panelists, people who

    are watching this online.  And insist that it's -- we're open to

    (froze) everyone who wants to take part in this discussion.  I

    mean, so the topic is full of interesting questions, and as Apar

    said, I think it's a challenging way to figure out some common

    issues that could drive the discussion and the implementation of


        And as Meredith said, this is not only about technology, but

    about sorting out and solving problems and dealing with the

    participation in democracy and the issue for democratic society.

    If there's not any other contribution or thoughts, I would like to

    end up here thanking you all for participation on the panel and

    thanking you in the name of ARTICLE 19, Brazil.  Good afternoon and

    congratulations to the IGF event.  And I hope to see you guys very



        >> PAULO LARA:  Thanks a lot.  Bye-bye.