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Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that the government, which plans to introduce online voting in elections, will seek to ensure that the system is "absolutely secure".
Online Voting
Online Voting
© Shutterstock

"We will definitely seek that such a system is developed," he said on LRT Radio on Tuesday.

In Skvernelis' words, the development of electronic voting will focus on the reliability and security of the system.

"There can be no doubt that no one from outside can change our people's will in an election," the prime minister said.

"Seeing interventions in other states' electoral systems, which face certain threats even though they have no electronic voting, we must achieve and ensure the creation of such a system that would guarantee absolute security. This is the main goal; we will work in this direction," he said.

The Lithuanian government says that online voting will help boost voter turnout among emigrants and will make the counting of votes faster and more accurate.

An online voting bill is currently under discussion and is expected to be included onto the Cabinet's agenda in several months' time. The final decision will be up to the parliament.

The government plans that a system for online voting, estimated to cost 2 million euros, will be developed in 2018 and will be for the first time used in the 2019 municipal elections.

Critics say that given the poor cyber security situation, an online voting system may become an easy target for cyber attacks and may be used to change the results of the election. There are also concerns about voters' anonymity.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that online voting would not ensure confidentiality and security.

"In light of the geopolitical realities and seeing the enormous resources spent on cyber attacks against democratic countries, we can conclude that online voting would not ensure confidentiality and security. This would possibly violate the constitutional requirement of anonymity (confidentiality)," she said last week.

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