Electronic voting is nowadays a hot topic in many countries. Obviously, it would make participation easier in the elections, but an entirely secure e-voting system is hard to design. As Daily News Hungary reported, Hungarian opposition parties have already proposed e-voting in the parliament, but government did not support the initiation. Jobbik, the biggest opposition party in Hungary has warmed up the proposal again.
In fact, not only Jobbik, but also civil societies and Liberals Party have also proposed e-voting before. According to Róbert László, psephologist and analyst of Political Capital, a Hungarian think-tank, apart from the advantages e-voting has many risks, as well. His opinion is based on Márton Naszódi’s standpoint. The IT-expert published a paper on the topic in which he claims that
no one can guarantee absolute secrecy and verifiability at the same time.
On the one hand, it violates anonymity if one can only vote after an identification process enabling vote-attachment to persons. However, on the other hand, if identification is taken out of the system, results might be hard to be verified. Naszódi claims that, according to the literature on e-voting, it is highly doubtful that one can create a system which is anonym enough and at the same time verifiable, as well.
The Estonian example
However, according to Dóra Dúró, Jobbik MP, e-voting is not a unique Hungarian idea. For example, in Estonia people can vote electronically since 2005 and the system functioned well during the 2009 European parliament elections, too. Thus,
Jobbik would enable e-voting in the 2022 parliamentary elections as a complementary opportunity for citizens.
Dúró said that e-voting is a quick, simple and modern system. In fact, under the election rules currently in place, Hungarians who have a permanent address in the country but are abroad on the day of an election or referendum can only vote at a Hungarian embassy or consular office near them. In contrast, ethnic Hungarians living beyond the border and having no permanent residence in the country can vote by mail. Thus, Jobbik has already handed in many amendments to change the election act.
The party’s aim is to allow all Hungarians living permanently beyond the border to vote by mail.
However, Government always rejected their amendments.
It would help Hungarians living abroad and disabled citizens, as well
According to Dúró, not only Hungarians living abroad, but also, for example, disabled citizens could express their political opinion electronically easier. Furthermore,
it could hinder cheating with the votes of dead Hungarians living abroad.
In fact, this can happen now, because citizens with no permanent residence in Hungary can only vote after they register. However, their registration is valid for 10 years. Thus, if relatives fail to report their deasth to Hungarian authorities – and this happens regularly – they can receive their voting package even after their death. Clearly, this might be an easy opportunity for cheating.
Dúró has put among the advantages the quick result calculation and the thrift of the system. In addition, the e-voting system could warn the electorates if their vote is not valid. Thus,
number of invalid votes could be reduced.
Source: mno.hu, Daily News Hungary