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Good Governance in the Information Society









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    Project “Good Governance in the Information Society”

    English only/ anglais uniquement

    Strasbourg, 5 November 2010

      Third meeting to review developments in the field
      of e-voting since the adoption of Recommendation Rec(2004)11 on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting

    Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg
    16-17 November 2010

National report on the implementation
of electronic voting in the Czech Republic

    Contribution by the Czech Republic

National report on the implementation of electronic voting in the Czech Republic

The regulation of e-voting is being discussed in a long term in the Czech Republic, whereas the main body responsible for e-voting is the Ministry of the Interior with cooperation of the Czech Statistical Office. The Ministry of the Interior started to prepare an e-voting project so that the pilot realisation could take place in 2012 (i.e. in the elections to 1/3 of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic) and fully introduced as of the elections to the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic in 2014, as provided by the coalition agreement and by the Programme declaration of the Government of the Czech Republic.

As of 2007, the Ministry of the Interior dealt with the issues of introducing e-voting on meetings with the Czech Statistical Office; it particularly focused on collecting the relevant information about e-voting especially from other European countries which have practical experience with its application (e.g. Switzerland, Estonia, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Austria).

On 7 April 2008, a Memorandum on co-operation in the preparation of the conception, testing and realisation of the e-voting system in the Czech Republic was signed (hereinafter referred to as „Memorandum“) by the Minister of the Interior and by the President of the Czech Statistical Office.

Based on the Memorandum a joint project team of experts on the field of electoral law, information technologies and their safety and from related sectors was put together. This team was nominated by the Minister of the Interior and by the President of the Czech Statistical Office; external consultants were co-opted as well.

The project team prepared the conceptual base of e-voting and defined the solution options of electronic elections in the Czech Republic, and consequently elaborated the Material concept of electronic elections in the Czech Republic, which is based on the following material bases for introduction of e-voting and for realisation of the pilot project in the Czech Republic:

· in the first phase, e-voting shall be just an alternative to the traditional voting,
· introducing of e-voting does not exclude introducing of postal ballot,
· e-voting shall be remote, i.e. shall take place outside the polling station,
· remote e-voting by internet shall be preferred, which should be tested also by the pilot project,
· at e-voting the voter shall identify him/herself by an electronic ID card, eventually by user name and password,
· a central register of voters should be established,
· on-line connection of all polling stations would be ideal (but not necessary),
· the e-voting system must guarantee secret ballot and prevent duplicate voting,
· the e-voting system shall be supervised by the so-called electronic commission composed of representatives of political parties and movements, which will have the posibility to verify the functioning of the system before and during the voting, including the upload of the votes; they shall hold the single parts of the key which, once voting has finished, will make it possible to open and decrypt the electronic ballot box,
· within the eventual review of the results of e-voting, it must be possible to find whether all valid votes were correctly counted.

The elaboration of the Material concept of electronic elections in the Czech Republic was considered to be the conclusion of the first phase of the work on the preparation of e-voting in the Czech Republic.

The following second phase will be aimed on technical solution of the single steps necessary for the realisation of an electronic election. This will include, in particular:
· identification and authentication of the voter,
· mechanism that prevents duplicate voting,
· encryption and decryption of votes with respect to the secrecy of voting,
· system providing the counting of votes and their addition to the votes cast traditionally in the polling stations,
· security of the e-voting system.
With regard to the aforesaid, the organisation of the third meeting dedicated to e-voting in the context of the Recommendation Rec (2004) 11 by the Council of Europe is very much welcomed by the Czech Republic.

Prague, 4 November 2010