Seven steps for introducing the online voting in the Republic of Moldova
One of the alternative voting methods that is most frequently discussed in the Republic of Moldova is the internet (online) voting, given the many advantages it offers once implemented. The online voting is convenient, can take place from any location where there is an internet connection, and is the cheapest way of voting, both from the perspective of the voter and the authorities organising the elections. Citizens can vote more than once and only the last voting option will remain valid, which excludes any possibility of other people influencing the voting option. All processes related to online voting take place quickly and securely, including voter registration, verification of identity, direct voting, vote counting, transmission and registration of final results, auditing after the election is completed.
This is one of the main conclusions that motivated several civil society organizations and research centers within the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (CALC) to propose a roadmap for the introduction of internet voting in the Republic of Moldova. The document is proposed especially to the attention of the Central Electoral Commission, the Parliament, the Government and the Presidency of the Republic of Moldova.
Currently, the Republic of Moldova has a unique opportunity to implement the internet voting, having practically all the necessary infrastructure, including various secure digital authentication tools, a legal technical framework, a wide openness on the part of the authorities in the development of this system and a much better understanding, at the societal level, about the functioning of online voting and the advantages it can generate.
The Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Moldova foresees a comprehensive analysis of the feasibility and implementation of e-voting, and its piloting in one of the next electoral exercises.
In this context, the signatories propose a series of actions necessary for the development of the internet voting system in the Republic of Moldova:
- Wider societal debate regarding the operational principles of internet voting, the advantages of its implementation and the associated risks.
- Set-up a working group for the development of online voting and the primary conceptualisation of the project.
- Legislative amendments are required, based on the widest possible political consensus.
- Continuous increase of secure digital identification capabilities and the number of users of digital authentication mechanisms.
- Development, pre-testing and updating the technical, operational and security functionalities of the internet voting solution after the testing phase.
- Testing of the technical solution in simulated or trial elections.
- The piloting of the internet voting for local elections in 2023 and preparation for the full introduction of the internet voting for the 2024 presidential and 2025 parliamentary elections.
Institute for European Policies and Reform (IPRE)
Laboratory for Development Initiatives (LID Moldova)
Association for Participatory Democracy “ADEPT”
Association for Combating Information Isolation “ECOU”
Centre for International Communication and Human Rights
Association for Regional Development “Habitat”
National Youth Council of Moldova
Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul”
Public Association “Vesta”
Public Association “Soarta”
Keystone Moldova Association
Association of Electronic Press (APEL)
This Non-Paper was prepared with the initial input of experts from the Institute for European Policy and Reforms (IPRE) and the Laboratory of Initiatives for Development (LID Moldova). The proposals were reviewed and supplemented as a result of policy dialogue sessions with the participation of key public actors, members of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (CALC) and other civil society organizations. This initiative was carried out within the IPRE project “Policy Bridges with the EU: Securing the Europeanization process of the Republic of Moldova”, implemented with the support of the Soros Foundation Moldova.